Date: September 23, 2013

People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. US FWS – Regulatory Reform
Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal – 5/26/15

NFIB Small Business Legal Center joined with the Chamber of Commerce in support of property owners challenging the regulatory authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to enforce Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions for the Utah Prairie Dog. The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah held that the federal government has no authority to enforce ESA restrictions with regard to this species because it is found only in Utah, has no commercial value and has no impact on interstate commerce. Our joint-amicus brief emphasizes that the Commerce Clause has meaningful limitations and that ignoring those limitations has severe adverse impacts on businesses in this case.


PETPO v. US FWS – Regulatory (ESA regulation of purely in-state species)

Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals

NFIB Small Business Legal Center joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in urging the Tenth Circuit to reconsider its decision en banc in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—which ruled that the federal government may regulate essentially anything so long as the statute is crafted broadly enough to regulate some things that are connected to interstate commerce. As argued in NFIB’s amicus brief, the three judge panel’s initial decision is highly problematic because it would effectively remove any limitations to the federal government’s power to regulate under the Commerce Clause. Such an approach conflicts with Supreme Court precedent, including the precedent established in NFIB v. Sebelius that held that any given portion of a broad federal statute may be challenged under the Commerce Clause—regardless of whether other portions of an enactment may be upheld.

Status: PENDING. Amicus brief filed 5/22/17.



If you have a case that impacts small business, please contact us at 1-800-552-NFIB or email us at [email protected] as we are actively looking for opportunities to weigh in on important issues in this state. NFIB Small Business Legal Center is involved in many cases that impact this state and others; to see our complete list of Supreme Court cases click on Washington, DC on the interactive map.

Thank You





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