Federal judges in western states are chastising the Bush administration's "repeated and sometimes willful failure to enforce laws protecting fish, forests, wildlife and clean air."
In a scathing ruling, U.S. District Judge James Redden wrote that federal agencies "have repeatedly and collectively failed to demonstrate a willingness to do what is necessary to halt the reverse and trend toward species extinction."
Redden's decision is the most recent in a string of rulings critical of President Bush's environmental policies. In late August, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer accused the Forest Service of privileging timber harvesting and " trampling" environmental laws. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laporte recently reinstated Clinton's " roadless rule," charging that the Bush administration had failed to cite any new evidence for its elimination, and in Montana last week, U.S. District Judge Donald W. Malloy wrote that the Fish and Wildlife Service had " lost touch with science."
Dan Rohlf, law professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, noted, "You are seeing frustration in the federal judiciary. When judges express that frustration on paper, which is not all that often, they are often reflecting what they see as a systematic effort to get around the law."