Carp crisis discussed at justices' weekly meeting

Chris Rizo Mar. 19, 2010, 2:00pm

U.S. Supreme Court building

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The U.S. Supreme Court met today in closed session to discuss Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox's lawsuit to close Chicago-area shipping locks to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

Cox, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, has argued that if the navigational shipping locks remain open that the massive bighead and silver carp could decimate the Great Lakes' regional commercial and recreational fishing industry.

Asian carp DNA has already been found in Lake Michigan. The locks separate the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal from Lake Michigan.

The justices, during the court's weekly conference meeting Friday, considered Cox's second appeal to close two shipping locks. The state attorneys general from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York have joined Cox's lawsuit against Illinois.

The high court could issue a ruling in the case as soon as Monday.
For her part, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, has said closing the locks would have economic effects without guaranteeing that the carp will not continue their migration.

The White House, too, is opposed to closing the locks, according to papers filed by U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who represents the Obama administration before the high court.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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