United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
October 22, 2019
from the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia (No. 1:17-cv-00406)
Jonathan Wood argued the cause for appellants. With him on
the briefs were Damien M. Schiff and Joshua P. Thompson.
Kupfer, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the
cause for federal appellees. With him on the brief were
Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Assistant Attorney General, Eric
Grant, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Andrew C.
Mergen and Robert J. Lundman, Attorneys.
Katherine Desormeau argued the cause for
defendants-intervenors-appellees. With her on the brief were
Ian Fein, Peter Shelley, and Roger Fleming.
J. Berger and Justin A. Cohen were on the brief for amici
curiae Academic Scientists in support of appellees.
M. Thompson was on the brief for amici curiae Alison Rieser,
et al. supporting defendant's brief affirming the
Nicholas A. DiMascio, Samantha R. Caravello, and Lori Potter
were on the brief for amicus curiae National Audubon Society
in support of appellees and supporting affirmance.
J. Pincus was on the brief for amici curiae Senator Richard
Blumenthal and Senator Brian Schatz in support of appellees
and for affirmance of the District Court's judgment.
Douglas W. Baruch was on the brief for amici curiae Ocean and
Coastal Law Professors in support of defendants-appellees and
defendants-intervenors-appellees and affirmation.
Before: Tatel and Millett, Circuit Judges, and Ginsburg,
Senior Circuit Judge.
pursuant to the Antiquities Act, 54 U.S.C. §§
320301 et seq., President Obama established the Northeast
Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to protect
"distinct geological features" and "unique
ecological resources" in the northern Atlantic Ocean.
Proclamation No. 9496, 3 C.F.R. 262, 262 (2017)
("Monument Proclamation"). Several
commercial-fishing associations challenged the creation of
the Monument, arguing that the President exceeded his
statutory authority. The district court disagreed and
dismissed the complaint. With a minor alteration, we affirm.
statute of historical importance for natural resource
conservation and for archeological and historic preservation
in the United States," the Antiquities Act grew out of a
movement to protect the nation's unique historical,
archeological, and scientific heritage. Bruce Babbitt,
Introduction, in The Story of the Antiquities
Act (Ronald F. Lee, 2001). "[B]eg[inning] in
1879," "[a] whole generation of dedicated . . .
scholars, citizens, and members of Congress . . . through
[their] explorations, publications, exhibits, and other
activities," id. (internal quotation marks
omitted), pushed for the enactment of "national
preservation legislation," culminating in 1906 with the
passage of the Antiquities Act, Ronald F. Lee, The
Antiquities Act, 1900-06, in The Story of the
Antiquities Act (Ronald F. Lee, 2001). To this day, the
Act remains "a major part of the legal foundation for
archeological, historic, and natural conservation and
preservation in the United States." Babbitt,
provides that "[t]he President may, in the
President's discretion, declare by public proclamation
historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and
other objects of historic or scientific interest that are
situated on land owned or controlled by the Federal
Government to be national monuments." 54 U.S.C. §
320301(a). The Act also authorizes the "President [to]
reserve parcels of land as a part of the national
monuments," so long as reservations are "confined
to the ...