Late yesterday, after the Ninth Circuit denied its petition for rehearing, Drakes Bay Oyster Company announced in a statement that it will seek relief in the United States Supreme Court. The oyster farm is fighting for survival after the Department of the Interior refused to renew a permit that the farm needs to remain in operation, and had sued in federal court to overturn the Secretary’s refusal to renew the permit.
Remarkably, both the district court in Oakland and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco held that there is no federal court jurisdiction to even hear the oyster farm’s case in the first place. Under the courts’ reasoning, Congress gave federal bureaucrats unlimited power to deny the oyster farm’s permit for any reason or no reason, and in the face of such limitless discretion there is nothing for the courts to judge. The bureaucrats get to do whatever they want, and the courts will not even listen to whether the agency broke the law.
There is a fundamental problem when an executive agency destroys a farm, puts its workers out of their jobs, and workers’ families out of their homes, and federal courts say they have no power to even review the decision. This is not the way a government of checks and balances operates; it is the way a totalitarian state does. Pacific Legal Foundation will be proud to support Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s petition to the Supreme Court as a friend of the court, and wishes the oyster farm complete success in their ongoing fight for survival against a despotic bureaucracy.
Watch PLF’s new video on the oyster farm’s defense against the Park Service: