Case Study: Lujan V. Defenders

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Lujan v. Defenders of wildlife 504 U.S. 555 (1992) Facts of the Case: Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 divides responsibilities regarding the protection of endangered species between the Secretary of the Interior (Manuel Lujan, D) and the Secretary of Commerce. The section requires each federal agency to consult with the appropriate Secretary to ensure that any action funded by the agency is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence or habitat of any endangered or threatened species. Both Secretaries initially promulgated a joint regulation extending the section’s coverage to include actions taken in foreign nations; however, a subsequent joint rule limited the section’s scope to the United States and the…show more content…
Defenders of Wildlife and other organizations dedicated to wildlife conservation filed an action seeking a declaratory judgment that the new amendment erred by providing for a geographic limit on the original law. Legal Questions: 1. What must a party invoking federal jurisdiction establish in order to show standing? 2. What must a party show in order to survive a motion for summary judgment for lack of standing? 3. If a plaintiff is not an object of government action, what must a party show in order to show standing? 4. Can Congress pass legislation that allows for the creation of citizen suits that confer standing upon citizens who would not be able to allege an injury in fact? Opinion of the Court: Even if the Court were to assume that the agency-funded projects at issue threatened listed species, there was no proof that these actions would produce "actual or imminent" injuries to particular respondents who might someday wish to visit the foreign countries in question. The Court disregarded the proposed theory of "ecosystem nexus" which claimed that any person who used any part of a "contiguous ecosystem" adversed affected by a funded activity had standing to

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