Seventh Circuit Rules for McGuireWoods-Represented Business Coalition in Asian Carp Case

August 25, 2011

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction motion that had been opposed by a business coalition represented by McGuireWoods. Several Great Lakes states had brought the action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to close the locks on the Chicago River as an additional means of halting the potential migration of Asian carp into Lake Michigan. McGuireWoods represented the Coalition to Save Our Waterways, an ad hoc group of business and trade associations concerned that closing the locks to commercial navigation would have a catastrophic effect on the Chicago area economy. The coalition intervened as a defendant and worked with the other parties to obtain a denial of the preliminary injunction. The states appealed but the 7th Circuit affirmed, holding that the states had failed to show that the relief they sought would improve on the efforts of the federal agencies already working to mitigate the Asian carp movement and that they could not demonstrate that the balancing of costs or the public interest favored an injunction.