In a water ruling against an environmental group challenging actions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a New Mexico federal judge resorted to quoting the bible.
The ruling against the WildEarth Guardians, a group based in Santa Fe, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Brack began his ruling with the quote: And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” 1 Kings 17:1 (King James)
Then he proceeded to note that New Mexico is languishing in the midst of an unprecedented, prolonged drought while the man stakeholders have become increasingly embroiled in a perilous zero sum game.
“If the court possessed the power of Elijah, it would call down rain to nurture our parched state. But the Court has no such power,” wrote Judge Brack. “All the Court can do is answer the legal question central to this matter.”
He went on to rule against the WildEarth Guardians who contended the Army failed to consult the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding its Middle Rio Grande operations and its operations of four dams in the region.
The judge also put the WildEarth Guardians in its place by stating the group “initially ignored a lengthy and detailed document the Corps produced to explain its decision.”
“Because one cannot simply ignore an agency’s explanation when challenging the agency’s decision, the Court denies most of Guardian’s motions.”