Federal Protection of Local Spider Unconstitutional, Texas Says

Sept. 23, 2019, 8:10 PM

The federal government’s protection of a tiny spider that lives exclusively in Texas is unconstitutional, business groups and the state told the Fifth Circuit.

The Bone Cave Harvestman spider has been protected by the Endangered Species Act since 1988, and a lower court ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regulation of the species under the Act is a constitutional exercise of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.

But the Harvestman lives in two counties in Texas and has no commercial market, which means interstate commerce can’t be used to justify the federal government’s interest in the species, a...

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