Federal Judge Strikes Down Trump Admin Rollback of Law Protecting Migratory Birds

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Environmentalists and ornithologists found a friend in a federal court on Tuesday when a judge struck down a Trump administration attempt to allow polluters to kill birds without repercussions through rewriting the Migratory Treaty Bird Act (MBTA). The issue at the heart of the case is that the Trump administration intended to change decades of established policy to allow the incidental slaughter of migratory birds as long as an individual or corporation could prove they did not intend to intentionally kill the bird, according to The Washington Post. In a scathing decision, U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni questioned the humanity of an administration that would interpret the "taking" and "killing" of birds in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as only applying to actions that specifically targeted birds. In upholding the longstanding interpretation of the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act that energy companies and other businesses have opposed as too broad, she quoted the iconic American novel To Kill a Mocking Bird , as Reuters reported. "It is not only a sin to kill a mockingbird, it is also a crime," the judge wrote, according to Reuters. "That has been the letter of the law for the past century. […]

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