A unanimous en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the Circuit's 2005 ruling in Ecology Center v. Austin today, and appears to have narrowed the court's review of federal agency NEPA compliance. After briefly skimming the court's opinion in Lands Council v. McNair, I think it could be quite significant. In recent years, the Ninth Circuit has been something of an outlier in environmental law, and the most desirable jurisdiction for environmentalist plaintiffs. Insofar as this decision indicates a desire by Ninth Circuit judges to tame the court's environmental jurisprudence, it could be a biggie. I hope to say more, but I'm in an airport on my way to Glasgow for a wedding, so I don't know when I'll get a chance.
Ninth Circuit Overrules Ecology Center: