If a state does not have the right to sue, how in the heck does the greenies get the right?
Federal government: Wyoming can't sue over wolves
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The federal government says Wyoming does not have the legal right to sue over wolf management in the state.
In documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, the U.S. Department of the Interior also claims that the court does not have jurisdiction over the issue and that Wyoming failed to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit over wolves.
The documents responded to a lawsuit Wyoming filed in April after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife rejected the state's wolf-management plan. The agency is requiring Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to submit plans it deems acceptable before removing wolves from Endangered Species Act protection.
Wyoming's classification of wolves as predators outside the national parks and wilderness areas of northwest Wyoming - and open to be shot with little oversight - contributed to the rejection.
''To the extent a response may be deemed necessary, defendants deny that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief requested or to any relief whatsoever,'' the response said.
Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank took issue with that and other claims. ''If the state and its citizens, who have been subjected to this federal action, don't have the ability to question that action at all, I'm left to wonder who the heck does,'' he said.
He said the federal government's contention that Wyoming cannot legally sue is made regardless of whether the Interior Department or its officials violated federal laws or the U.S. Constitution.
''It's sad, but that's the kind of absurdity and arrogance that this administration has shown toward states and particularly the state of Wyoming,'' Crank said.
He said the refusal to address the issues of the case is a tactic often employed by federal attorneys.
''Why don't they defend on the merits, the question that we put squarely in front of the court: Did you reject the Wyoming wolf management plan under the dictates of the Endangered Species Act? I'm flabbergasted that they just won't answer that question.''
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol Statkus declined to respond because she had not heard Crank's remarks firsthand. She said only that the answer to the lawsuit is a matter of public record and raises a number of defenses.
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