[GeoStL] US Supreme Court mentions GPS -but they ruled agsint me 5-4

  • From: "Jim Bensman" <junkmailno@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 21:54:28 -0600

As most of you should recall last October I went to DC to watch the Supreme 
Court argue about me.  It was a lawsuit over some Bush Administration 
regulations that I was involved in a lawsuit over.  They cut the public out of 
public participation for small timber sales on National Forests.  The lower 
courts had agreed with us that the regulations were illegal and we had standing 
to sue over them.  But the Supreme Court agreed to decide if we had standing to 
challenge the regulations.  The Forest Service was also making a bunch of 
arguments that if they won would basically prevent citizens from challenging 
government regulations.  For standing the main thing we were relying on was my 
declaration.  In my declaration one of the uses of National Forests I pointed 
out was Geocaching.  

Anyway we lost today on a 5-4 decision.  The good thing was if we had to lose 
this was the way to lose.  We got thrown out on a technicality and the Supreme 
Court did not address any of the arguments the Forest Service argued that could 
keep citizens out of Court.  So I am actually happy with what happened as with 
the make up on the Supreme Court we did not have much chance of winning.  We 
are also hoping the new administration will undo them.

But as I mentioned part of the issue in the case was Geocaching.  But that was 
not mentioned in the ruling.  But in his dissenting opinion, Justice Breyer 
stated, "To the contrary, a threat of future harm may be realistic even where 
the plaintiff cannot specify precise times, dates, and GPS coordinates."  So I 
bet he went and looked at cc.com.  But anyway I bet this is the first time the 
Supreme Court ever mentioned GPS. 

Here is his opinion:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-463.ZD.html 
There are links for the rest of the ruling on that page.

There are lots of news stories on it (72 at the last check)


Jim Bensman
"Nature Bats Last" 


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