LEGAL BRIEFS 

By Ivan Schell, Esquire

2020: 3rd Quarter 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Litigation re: Import Permits:

In early June, 2020, the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit brought to a positive culmination six years of litigation

related to the permitting policy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). During the Obama administration

the government utilized nation‐wide bans on importation of species alleged to be endangered and threatened regardless

of the country or area from which they were being imported. Anti‐hunting groups successfully frustrated the attempt

of FWS thru litigation to enact rules which would have allowed certain species to be imported. In response the

FWS implemented a case by case process of assessing each import permit request based on scientific evidence related

to the specific facts related to the permit. Anti‐hunting groups then contested the case by case process but have been

now rebuffed by the DC Circuit. The Court has recognized the right of FWS to consider the conservation benefits of

hunting in specific areas and the efforts of individual safari operators to protect habitat for poachers and protect animal

species in the long run.

Legislation: Great American Outdoors Act:

The US Senate has passed the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422) by 73 to 25. The act will provide $9.5 billion

over five years to revitalize the crumbling infrastructure of public lands and waters administered by the National Park

Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service. SCI believes that

this money will make positive impacts on wildlife conservation efforts and increase access for hunting and fishing

across the country and has been actively promoting its passage. The house version of the bill was introduced on June

4th. Please contact your Congressional Representatives and ask them to support passage. For Kentucky see the following

websites: www.govtrack.us/congress/members/KY and for Indiana see: www.govtrack.us/congress/members/

IN.

Mountain Lion Management Plan:

SCIF and SCI have submitted a joint formal public comment to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission regarding

the West Slope Mountain Lion Management Plan. As might be expected these comments reflect SCI’s support for the

use of hunter harvest data in lion population management and the use of hunting as a conservation tool to enhance

the management of this resource. Any casual review of reports coming out of the West, and specifically from California,

Colorado, etc., educates one to the rise in human‐lion conflicts and the need to scientifically and effectively address

these conflicts. In addition, the proposed plan will promote the rational management of prey species such as mule

deer and elk.

REGIONAL NEWS

Constitutional Rights: The First and Second Amendments:

Any reasonably attentive observer of the local and national scene over these last few weeks is aware of the recent

race‐based protests and riots. Although no determinations as of this writing have been issued by the three governmental

bodies investigating the Louisville shootings, thousands of local protestors have taken to the streets demanding

justice for the fallen. Unfortunately, some of these protests have resulted in physical destruction of businesses, looting,

assaults on business owners and other locals, unauthorized parades dominating streets, and caravans of automobiles

obstructing all lanes of traffic by traveling in the wrong direction and causing havoc for the driving public. Although

this would not normally be a topic that I would undertake in this column, I do so here because I believe that abuse of

the First Amendment of the Constitution can and has resulted in abuse and suppression of the Second Amendment

rights of our citizens. Accordingly, I will address what is protected free speech and assembly and what is not.

The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or

the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Notice the

word “peaceably.” This is the essence of protected speech and assembly. Interestingly even the ACLU has taken note

of this limitation in its online guidance: “Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests”. They specifically note

that certain types of events require permits such as a march or parade that does not stay on the sidewalk and other

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events that require blocking traffic or street closure, large rallies requiring the use of sound amplification devices or

rallies at certain designated parks or plazas: “If marchers stay on the sidewalks and obey traffic and pedestrian signals,

their activity is constitutionally protected even without a permit. Marchers may be required to allow normal pedestrian

traffic and may not maliciously obstruct or detain passers‐by.” www.ACLU.org/sites/default/files/field‐pdf‐file/kyrprotests.

pdf.

Without adherence to these rules, speech and assembly is not constitutionally protected speech and assembly and

protestors will become perpetrators of illegal activity. This has clearly been the case in Louisville and other communities

in our area. When protestors engage in illegal behavior, that behavior can precipitate the legitimate perception by nonprotestors

that their lives are being endangered and cause them to consider action to protect themselves including the

use of deadly force: hence the implications to the Second Amendment. I would encourage all readers to contact their

local officials and explain what constitutionally protected speech and assembly consists of and what it does not consist

of. Demand adherence to the rule of law so that all citizens are respected and not endangered.

Contact Mayor Fisher’s office at (502) 574‐2003.

CONTACT US

ADDRESS

KYSCI

211 Willoughby Court

Louisville, KY 40245

CONTACT

Larry Richards

502-727-7700

© 2013, 2019 by Kentuckiana Chapter SCI. All Rights Reserved.

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