Thursday, November 13, 2008

Environmentalist Wackos Loose This One

Environmentalist wackos who tried to prevent the Navy from using sonar have failed:

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that military training trumps protecting whales in a dispute over the Navy's use of sonar in submarine-hunting exercises off the coast of southern California.

Writing for the majority in the court's first decision of the term, Chief Justice John Roberts said the most serious possible injury to environmental groups would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals the groups study.

"In contrast, forcing the Navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardizes the safety of the fleet," the chief justice wrote. He said the overall public interest tips strongly in favor of the Navy.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental organizations had sued the Navy, winning restrictions in lower federal courts on sonar use.

Dolphins, whales and sea lions are among the 37 species of marine mammals in the area.

The Bush administration argued that there is little evidence of harm to marine life in more than 40 years of exercises.

Joining Roberts' opinion were Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups. It said, rather, that federal courts abused their discretion by ordering the Navy to limit sonar use in some cases and to turn it off altogether in others.

Read the rest here.

The scary thing is, this is effectively another 5-4 decision, just as with the Second Amendment. With four judges in the majority, two dissenting and two not joining either side, we just barely kept our Navy's ability to effectively defend our nation. 

I guess Flipper will just have to get used to the noisy neighbors.

No comments: