As we reported here, on October 6, 2014, a number of public water agencies and other entities that represent agricultural and municipal water users in California filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition was filed after a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision affirming a biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with respect to continuing operations of the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The panel held that the biological opinion and accompanying reasonable and prudent alternative do not violate the Administrative Procedure Act and Endangered Species Act. The deadline to file amicus briefs in support of the petition was November 6, 2014.
Six amicus briefs were filed in support of the petition by a wide array of groups including 10 states and national organizations representing business, farmers, home builders, hydropower interests, timber interests, and water users. The parties to those briefs are as follows:
- Nebraska, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce and California Chamber of Commerce
- Association of California Water Agencies, Southern California Water Committee, Northern California Water Association, California Building Industry Association, California Forestry Association, National Association of Homebuilders, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Federal Forest Resource Coalition, and the Central Arizona Water Conservation District
- Farm Credit West, ACA; Farm Credit Services of America; Farm Credit Mid-America, ACA; Northwest Farm Credit Services; Greenstone Farm Credit Services; Farm Credit East; 1st Farm Credit Services; American AgCredit; AgStar Financial Services, ACA; Farm Credit Illinois; United FCS, ACA; Yosemite Farm Credit, ACA; CoBank, ACB; National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; American Farm Bureau Federation; Western Growers Association, and California Farm Bureau Federation
- National Hydropower Association, Northwest Hydroelectric Association, Northwest RiverPartners, and the Utility Water Act Group
- NFIB Small Business Legal Center and Cato Institute
Responses to the water agency petition are due December 8.