Question: The Endangered Species Act provides that all federal agency actions
The Endangered Species Act provides that all federal agency actions are to be designed so that they do not jeopardize endangered or threatened species. The act had been interpreted to reach federal agency work or funding in foreign countries, but the federal government changed that interpretation in 1986 to limit the act’s reach to the United States and the high seas. A group labeled Defenders of Wildlife filed suit, seeking to reinstate the original interpretation. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where Justice Scalia wrote that Defenders of Wildlife would have to submit evidence showing that at least one of its members would be “directly” affected by the interpretation. In response, one member of Defenders of Wildlife wrote that she had visited Egypt and observed the endangered Nile crocodile and hoped to return to do so again but feared that U.S. aid for the Aswan High Dam would harm the crocodiles. Do you think Defenders of Wildlife should have been permitted to sue? Why or why not?
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