Environmentalist ‘Sue And Settle’ Tactics Have Cost Taxpayers Millions, This Bill Could Stop It

Rep. Bill Huizenga

GOP Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga testified before a House committee Wednesday on a bill that would restructure litigation rules under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to reflect existing law in the Equal Access to Justice Act.

Huizenga’s bill, the “Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act,” would prevent environmental groups from using “sue and settle” tactics to advance a political agenda while profiting off taxpayers through recompensed attorney fees for successful suits.

“Litigating attorneys representing non-governmental entities have taken advantage of the ESA, raking in millions of dollars of taxpayer funded money,” Huizenga said during the hearing. “This bill would ensure that all Americans that sue the federal government are entitled to the same reasonable limits when it comes to being awarded taxpayer funded attorney fees.”

Current regulation gives federal agencies 90 days to find whether listing under the ESA is warranted for a species after receiving a petition. Environmental groups have abused the deadline by petitioning for hundreds of species at a time, then suing when the agency misses the deadline to publish its initial findings, according to Holsinger Law Manager Kent Holsinger’s testimony in the Senate hearing.

Huizenga’s bill removes the 90-day deadline and caps attorney fee awards for successful litigants at $125 an hour.

TheDCNF found evidence of environmental groups high jacking ESA implementation through litigation. Environmental groups were the litigating party in 90 percent of ESA-related lawsuits against federal agencies from 2005 to 2015, TheDCNF reported in March.

“They sue. They settle. They collect their attorney fees, usually at exorbitant rates. They rinse and repeat, over and over again,” Holsinger said during his testimony.

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    It’s about time
    Harassment lawsuits make lawyers wealthy and
    benefit no one else.
    I expect self-declared ” lawyer ”
    ANDRZEJEWSKI
    to oppose this because it’s
    common sense.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Dont ever beleive a thing you see read or hear about in some eco-wackos junk science junk mail with either Robert Redford or Leonardo DiCaprio whining about Trump or all those lies about just about everything the ESA makes the Eco-Wackos wealthy the litigation makes the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund as well as Earth Justice rolling in the dough

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    While they are into stopping BS they need to put some reasonable limits to health care liability exposure that results in massive over
    kill of prescriptions and tactics of just in case there is a lawsuit .
    Not a get out of jail card but an ambulance chasing lawyer yacht prevention strategy .
    Too many people who count on winning medical lotteries .

    Reply

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