The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have filed suit against the Trump administration, challenging the diversion of funds toward constructing a border wall. The complaint alleges violation of the 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Appropriations Clause, and the separation of powers and non-delegation doctrine.
Organizations Again Challenge Diversion of Funds to Border Wall
Court Dismisses Challenge to NMFS Decision on Disclosure of Necropsy on Standing
A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by several animal rights advocates and individuals that challenged the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision not to enforce a permit condition requiring SeaWorld to release the necropsy report of an orca whale named Tilikum. The court found that the plaintiffs lacked Article III standing because they “failed to allege a cognizable informational injury.”
Groups Appeal Dismissal of Arkansas’ Ag-Gag Law
Groups challenging Arkansas’ ag-gag law as unconstitutional have appealed the dismissal of their suit to the Eighth Circuit. The dismissal in February was based on the court’s finding that plaintiffs failed to adequately allege Article III standing.
Miyoko’s Sues California Department of Food and Agriculture Over First Amendment Violation
Plant-based dairy company Miyoko’s Kitchen Inc. has filed suit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture, alleging violations of the company’s First Amendment rights when the agency told the company to stop calling its products “butter” and claiming the products are “cruelty and animal free.”
Fourth Circuit Overturns Lower Court’s Dismissal in Dog Shooting Lawsuit
The Fourth Circuit has reversed the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia’s order that a lawsuit alleging that Tina Ray’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when a police officer shot and killed Jax, her German Shepard companion, failed to state a claim because the officer was entitled to qualified immunity.
Ninth Circuit Finds No Standing in Kids’ Climate Suit
In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit reversed the trial court judge in the climate change public trust case, and ruled that the Plaintiff children lack standing because they cannot demonstrate redressability—i.e., the court does not have not have the power to remedy the government-wide actions and inactions that contribute to climate change. The lawsuit, originally filed in 2015 by 21 youth plaintiffs, alleged that the government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property through its actions that cause climate change, as well as failed to protect public trust resources.
Kansas Ag-Gag Law Found Unconstitutional
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas ruled that the state’s ag-gag law violated the First Amendment by banning undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses. The law was the oldest of its kind in the country, dating to 1990. This is the fifth ag-gag law to be struck down in the country.
Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Barring Implementation of Arkansas Labeling Law
A federal judge in Arkansas has granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the state from enforcing a law that bans using terms like “burger” and “sausage” to sell plant-based products against Tofurky while the constitutionality of the law is decided. The plant-based company filed suit against Arkansas in July, arguing that the law is an unconstitutional restriction on commercial speech.
Attorney Does Not Have Standing to Challenge IP He Finds “Demeaning” to Animals
An attorney who has challenged the intellectual property of a restaurant known for displaying a herd of goats grazing on its roof does not have standing to pursue the challenge, the Federal Circuit has affirmed. The attorney, Todd Bank, petitioned to cancel the restaurant’s trade dress on the basis that it was “demeaning” to the goats and injures the “respect, dignity, and worth of animals.” The Federal Circuit, affirming the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, found that Bank did not “suggest he maintained a direct and personal stake in the outcome” of the case and was ordered to pay the restaurant’s attorney fees for filing a “frivolous” appeal.