You probably saw that the Supreme Court sided with the U.S. Navy against the whales off Southern California. While I don’t have all that much to say about it, I thought it would be of interest to some of y’all to discuss the ruling here.
Whales are great, but I thought what Chief Justice John Roberts wrote made sense:
“The lower courts failed properly to defer to senior Navy officers’ specific, predictive judgments,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., joined by four other justices, wrote for the court in the first decision of the term.
For the environmental groups that sought to limit the exercises, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “the most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of marine mammals that they study and observe.” By contrast, he continued, “forcing the Navy to deploy an inadequately trained antisubmarine force jeopardizes the safety of the fleet.”
Contrasting with that snappy salute to the brass, Justices Ginsburg and Souter luridly dissented:
“Sonar is linked to mass strandings of marine mammals, hemorrhaging
around the brain and ears” and acute effects on the central nervous
system as well as “lesions in vital organs,” Justice Ginsburg wrote.
though the Navy has said it can find no previous documented case of
sonar-related injury to a marine mammal in such exercises, Justice
Ginsburg said the service had predicted that a current set of exercises
off the California coast would cause lasting injuries to hundreds of
beaked whales, along with vast behavioral disturbances to whales,
dolphins and sea lions.
The majority was overturning a ruling by the — you guessed it — Ninth Circuit.