Written by M. Sean High
On October 13, 2015, a United States Judicial Panel issued a ruling denying the Obama Administration’s attempt to consolidate the multiple pending Waters of the United States (WOTUS) actions into one centralized action in the District of Columbia. The Judicial Panel Ruling follows the federal government’s recent WOTUS legal setback, issued October 9, 2015, where the Sixth Circuit court denied the nationwide application of WOTUS.
As a result of the Judicial Panel ruling, the federal government will need to continue litigating the nine separate WOTUS challenges in seven different federal courts (Northern District of Georgia, Southern District of Georgia, District of Minnesota, District of North Dakota, Southern District of Ohio, Northern District of Oklahoma, and Southern District of Texas).
In denying the federal government’s attempt at consolidation, the Judicial Panel stated that “centralization will not serve the conveniences of the parties and witnesses or further the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.”