Justice Stevens recalls snail darter case

From Friday’s Greenwire:

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens highlights a high-profile Endangered Species Act case about a tiny fish that delayed a reservoir project in his new memoir.

The case in question is Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill, a 1978 ruling in which the court ruled that a project to build the Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River had to be halted because it would likely lead to the extinction of the snail darter.

The opinion was not one of Stevens’ own from his 35-year tenure on the court, which came to an end when he retired in 2010. But it is one of Stevens’ favorites from the pen of Warren Burger, who served as chief justice from 1969 to 1984.


The mention of the case is in keeping with the theme of the book, “Five Chiefs,” in which Stevens focuses on the five chief justices he either worked alongside or came into contact during his long legal career.

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