For Immediate Release, February 17, 2011
Contact: Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495
Statement of Center for Biological Diversity on the Comment by Representative Denny Rehberg that
Federal Judge Donald Malloy Should be "on the Endangered Species List"
TUCSON, Ariz.— Commenting on a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy restoring protections for the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) stated to the Montana Legislature, “When I first heard his decision, like many of you I wanted to take action immediately. I asked, ‘How can we put some of these judicial activists on the endangered species list?’ I am still working on that!”
“In light of the recent killing of federal Judge John Roll in Tucson, who also sometimes ruled in favor of the environment, Representative Rehberg’s veiled threats are more than reprehensible,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, which was one of the plaintiffs in the wolf suit. “Representative Rehberg’s remarks border on incitement and should be retracted.”
The New York Times called Rehberg’s remarks “outrageous,” and in a published opinion, Judge Molloy’s four children noted that it is not “acceptable or appropriate to make veiled or outright threats of harm toward anyone, including a judge,” and called for people to “rise above the divisive and shallow rhetoric that is becoming so common in public discourse.”
“As it was with Judge Roll, we do not always win our cases in front of Judge Molloy, but we can count on him for a fair hearing and to strive to issue decisions that fairly apply the laws enacted by Congress,” said Suckling. “As envisioned by the founders of this nation, Judge Molloy issues his decisions not based on the political winds that blow at each election cycle, but according to the law.”