"Conservation groups, joined by former President Carter, had sued to reopen the case after a March ruling upheld an Interior Department deal for a road through a national wildlife refuge."
"A federal appeals court has vacated a ruling that would have helped to clear the way for a project to build a road through a national wildlife refuge in Alaska. The court said it would rehear the case, which involves a land swap that was approved by the Trump administration.
The decision by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reopen the case, announced in a brief order Thursday, is at least a temporary victory for conservation groups who oppose the project. They and others, including former President Jimmy Carter, also fear that allowing such a land swap would effectively gut a landmark decades-old law that protects tens of millions of acres of public lands across Alaska.
The decision vacated a ruling made in March by a panel of three of the court’s judges. The full court said it would hear arguments in the case in December.
“We welcome the court’s ruling to grant a rehearing, making way for safer options to protect the environment,” Peter Winsor, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, said in a statement. The group was one of nine that had petitioned the court to rehear the case."
Henry Fountain reports for the New York Times November 11, 2022.