Litigation Advisory – Judicial Deference to National Security Concerns – Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., No. 07- 1239 (Nov. 12, 2008)

By Lawrence S. EbnerNovember 21, 2008

Navy v. Whales Has Broader Implications For Deference To Executive Branch Statements Of National Security

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by four other U.S. Supreme Court Justices, sided squarely with the Navy last week in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., No. 07-1239 (Nov. 12, 2008), an opinion reversing a preliminary injunction that the Court found would have
jeopardized national defense by restricting Navy training exercises involving the use of sonar in the presence of marine mammals
(whales) off the coast of Southern California. In so doing, the Supreme Court emphasized the deference which must be given to
DOD/Executive Branch statements of national security interests, an emphasis which has implications in a number of other contexts.

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