Sunday, November 30, 2008

Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

The issue in this case that grabbed my attention was the debate over whether the Ninth Circuit should apply its own interpretation to the issue of fill materials or whether there should be a greater emphasis placed on the language and interpretation of the agency from the construction of the statute. The brief that I read was obviously that of the side of Coeur Alaska, which I thought I would disagree with just on the basis of pollutants, but then as I read the brief further and really looked at the question presented I started to really see the dilemma as to whether the decision should be that of one based on principles and the desire to protect and preserve the environment, as it was when heard by the Ninth Circuit, or whether the decision should be strictly held to the application and enforcement of statutes that may not be the greatest good or most desirable goal. The Ninth Circuit obviously did not just come out and say well we think this is wrong so we will rule this way, but I do believe that the Ninth Circuit had a lot more discretion and emphasis on principle while using certain facts from the case to steer their principle laden agenda. I really am not to sure how the Supreme Court will rule on this case, but I do believe they will be leaning more towards the application and defining of the statute through the interpretations and statements of the actually agencies.

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