California Shark Fin Ban: United States files amicus curiae brief in support of Plaintiffs-Appellants
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
CHINATOWN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, et al.,
EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., in his official capacity as
Governor of the State of California, et al.,
THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES, et al.,
On Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California
Hon. Phyllis J. Hamilton, District Judge
BRIEF FOR THE UNITED STATES AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS AND REVERSAL ON THE SUPREMACY CLAUSE CLAIM
( … )
The United States respectfully submits this brief as amicus curiae pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 29.
STATEMENT OF INTEREST
This case concerns whether a California statute violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution by prohibiting the possession, sale, and distribution of shark fins, including fins from sharks harvested in federal waters and landed in compliance with federal law. The United States has a strong interest in the proper application of preemption principles. That interest includes the application of preemption principles to federal fisheries management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. § 1801, et seq., particularly where state regulation is an obstacle to achieving the purposes and objectives of the MSA.
Plaintiffs-Appellants Chinatown Neighborhood Association and Asian Americans for Political Advancement (collectively, “Chinatown Association”) challenge California’s law banning the possession, sale, and distribution of any shark fin product. Under federal law, possession and trade of shark fins is lawful so long as the shark is landed with its fins naturally attached. Chinatown Association contends that California’s law is preempted by federal law. The district court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that federal law does not preempt the State’s law.
The question before this Court is whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Chinatown Association’s motion for a preliminary injunction. This amicus brief addresses only the merits of the federal preemption claim. The United States participates here, against the backdrop of ongoing rulemaking on this issue, to urge the Court to exercise restraint in ruling on the following:
Whether the district court erred in determining that Chinatown Association has no likelihood of success on its claim that California Assembly Bills 376 and 853, codified as Cal. Fish and Game Code §§ 2021 and 2021.5 (“Shark Fin Ban”), violate the Supremacy Clause.
Read the full amicus curiae brief :
Note by Shark Year Magazine:
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