In People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the District Court for the District of Utah declared unconstitutional a federal Endangered Species Act regulation prohibiting the “take” of any Utah prairie dog. Because the species is found only in Utah and has no commercial use or market, the court held that the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses could not sanction federal regulation of noneconomic activities that affect the ecosystem. To hold otherwise and allow the federal government “to regulate anything that might affect the ecosystem” would leave “no logical stopping point to congressional power.”  In a new Engage article, Jonathan Wood, a staff attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, supports that decision. 

Read the article here.