Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, September 26, 2016

Court Prefers Walruses to the Safety of Our Sailors

It should be an easy decision: The safety and military readiness of our sailors is more important than potential harm to walruses from underwater sounds. Nevertheless, the liberal Ninth Circuit court recently ruled in favor the walruses at the expense of our United States Navy. Our Navy uses an underwater sound system to help detect the enemy, particularly hostile submarines, across long distances in the oceans. Specifically, our Navy uses 18 underwater speakers to transmit low-frequency sounds. These sounds then travel long distances underwater, guiding our Navy safely all over the globe.

Our Navy has already been limiting the use of this technology to minimize any confusion it causes to underwater creatures. The Navy does not use these loud sounds within 14 miles of coastlines, and does not transmit the sounds if any animals are in the area. They have even proven that its use has no more than a negligible impact on sea creatures such as walruses, dolphins and whales. But environmentalists demanded even further restrictions on our Navy’s operations. In the recent decision of NRDC v. Pritzker, the Ninth Circuit agreed with the environmentalists and ruled that even proof of a negligible impact on sea creatures is not good enough. The Court ordered that our Navy further reduce its operations so that they would have the “least practicable adverse impact” on sea life.

Our powerful enemies like China consistently try to better our military in technological capability, and yet activist courts allow environmentalists to tie the hands of our own Navy. This radical agenda should not be able to impose restrictions on how our military conducts vital operations. We hope that our next president will not cave into environmentalists and judicial supremacy.

*recorded August 2016

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