Courrt to make sonar decision

June 23, 2008 9:21:35 AM PDT
The Supreme Court is stepping into a dispute over the Navy's use of sonar off the Southern California coast and its potential harm to dolphins and whales. The high court's review comes at the urging of the Bush administration.

Justices will review a federal appeals court ruling that limits the use of sonar in training seminars.

The administration says the decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco jeopardizes the Navy's ability to train sailors and Marines for service in wartime. It also claims national security interests can trump those of marine mammals.

The Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Navy over the issue. It contends that exposing dolphins and beaked whales to sonar can hurt them by disrupting their feeding and mating patterns and, in the worst case, can kill them by causing them to beach themselves.

Arguments will take place in the next court term, beginning in October.

Load Comments