On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the US Navy can conduct sonar training exercises off the Southern California coast without restrictions. The high court threw out a federal judge's injunction that had required the Navy to take precautions when conducting submarine-hunting exercises.
"Environmental groups brought the lawsuit and said the intense sound waves can harm or even kill 37 species of marine mammals, including sea lions and endangered blue whales, by interfering with their ability to navigate and communicate. Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion for the court's conservative majority, said the overall public interest in the case tipped strongly in favor of the Navy. In reading part of his ruling from the bench, Roberts agreed with the administration and criticized the judges in California for "second-guessing" the views of the Navy. The Bush administration argued that there has been no documented case of sonar-related injury to marine mammals in the 40 years of exercises off the southern California coast." There was, however one voice of reason: "In her written dissent, Justice Ginsburg cited the substantial and irreparable harm to marine mammals, saying sonar has been linked to mass strandings and hemorrhaging around the brain and ears. She said the training exercises serve critical interests, but they do not authorize the Navy to violate the environmental laws."You can read the entire article here. This ruling is very disappointing to whale conservationists, and it's another sad reminder of what the US Government holds as a priority. Our national security is important but so is the security of the wildlife that we trespass upon. Hopefully with the incoming administrassion, some of these inhumane rulings will be reassessed.