In two significant opinions, the 11th Circuit has affirmed Judges Seitz and Ungaro in cases brought by the Miccosukee Indians to stop the construction of a bridge to replace a portion of Tamiami Trail ostensibly to increase water flow to the dying River of Grass.
The primary opinion, by Judge Wilson, provides a comprehensive 12-page history of the Tribe and South Florida's relationship with, and distortion of, the existing glades into what we know it today.
The bottom line of these opinions is that Congress, in a spending act, managed to include language that partially repealed the environmental laws that the Tribe was invoking, thus depriving the district courts of subject matter jurisdiction to hear the Tribe's claims:
The simplest reading of this plain language is that Congress wanted the bridge built now. Congress sought to facilitate this goal by repealing the environmental laws that it had previously passed. Allowing further administrative challenges to the bridge under those environmental laws, more than two decades after Congress passed legislation seeking to improve water flows in the Everglades, would further delay the speedy completion of the bridge and frustrate Congress’s clear intent.So I guess this means war is the only option?
Not being fully immersed in this issue (Eye on Miami covers this extensively), it's hard for me to assess whether or not this is a "victory" for Everglades restoration, in part because the Army Corp of Engineers doesn't always know best.
It's Friday so I don't know about you, but I'm cutting out early to delight in what's left of our easterly water flow.
Before I go take note that this Assistant AG is a d$%k, women are good for you, and I agree with Conan -- "Yom Kippur has become way too commercial."
Have a great weekend!