Ninth Circuit Heard Oral Argument in the Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases

On September 10, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard approximately an hour of oral argument in the Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases appeals, Ninth Circuit Case Nos. 11-15871, 11-16617, 11-16621, 11-16623, 11-6624, 11-16660, 11-16662, and 11-17143. The lead appeal is also referred to as San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, et al. v. Salazar, et al.  An audio recording of the oral argument is available here.

The Ninth Circuit panel, comprised of Ninth Circuit judges Johnnie Rawlinson and Jay Bybee, and Eighth Circuit Judge Morris Arnold (sitting by designation), heard oral argument from Department of Justice attorney Robert Oakley (representing Federal defendants), Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Katherine Poole (representing the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Bay Institute), Best Best & Krieger LLP attorney Gregory Wilkinson (representing the State Water Contractors), Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard attorney Daniel O’Hanlon (representing San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District), and California Deputy Attorney General Clifford Lee (representing the California Department of Water Resources).

The appeals are now under submission and the parties are awaiting the Ninth Circuit’s opinion.