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Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms

Docket No.: 09-475
Certiorari Granted: February 25, 2010
Argued: April 27, 2010
Decided: June 21, 2010

Topics:

Administrative Procedure, Article I, Clean Water, Clean Water Act, EPA, Endangered Species Act of 1973, Natural Resources, abuse of discretion, judicial review, preliminary injunction, property rights

PartyNames: Monsanto Company, et al. v. Geertson Seed Farms, et al.
Petitioner: Monsanto Company, et al.
Respondent: Geertson Seed Farms, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Citation: 570 F.3d 1130
Supreme Court Docket

Monsanto Company, et al.
v.
Geertson Seed Farms, et al.
Background:

:flOmega In this case, after finding a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), the district court imposed, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, a permanent nationwide injunction against any further planting of a valuable geneticallyengineered crop, despite overwhelming evidence that less restrictive measures proposed by an expert federal agency would eliminate any non~trivial risk of harm.

Question Presented:

flOmega 1. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that NEPA plaintiffs are specially exempt from the requirement of showing a likelihood of irreparable harm to obtain an injunction. flOmega 2. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that a district court may enter an injunction sought to remedy a NEPA violation without conducting an evidentiary hearing sought by a party to resolve genuinely disputed facts directly relevant to the appropriate scope of the requested injunction. flOmega 3. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred when it affirmed a nationwide injunction entered prior to this Court's decision in Winter v. NRDC, 129 S. Ct. 365 (2008), which sought to remedy a NEPA violation based on only a remote possibility of reparable harm.

Question:

1) Did the Ninth Circuit err in holding that the plaintiffs are exempt from showing a "likelihood of irreparable harm" to obtain an injunction? 2) Did the Ninth Circuit err in holding that a district court may enter an injunction without conducting an evidentiary hearing?

Note:

EXPEDITED BRIEFING SCHEDULE. JUSTICE BREYER TOOK NO PART.

Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms
ORAL ARGUMENT

April 27, 2010

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 7-1
Recused: J.,

Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms
Case Documents

1Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
2Opinion in Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms
3Opinion in Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms
4Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
Additional documents for this case are pending review.