Monday, April 26, 2010

Supreme Court will not close Chicago locks

By Rachel Wells

The U.S. Supreme Court will not reopen a nearly 100-year-old lawsuit, as requested by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who sought closure of Chicago navigational locks as a way to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a written statement today that she was pleased with the court’s decision and that Illinois will continue to work with other states and the federal government to combat Asian carp.

Cox continues to urge President Barack Obama and Congress to push for immediate action, and Cox’s office said it would now review whether to take the case to federal district court.

In initial filings with the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois argued that the case did not belong in the highest court but in federal district court because it was not a state versus state issue. The locks Michigan sought to close are controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Supreme Court Justices declined to hear Michigan’s lawsuit but did not offer reasons for denying it. They previously denied two requests from Michigan for immediate closure of the locks.

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