On March 18, 1999, WLF filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to review a case where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided that Volusia County, Florida must use all its regulatory authority to prevent artificial beachfront lights from harming federally protected sea turtles, or face liability under federal law. WLF argued in its brief that the case deserved Supreme Court review because the court of appeals read the Act in a way that conflicts with the Supreme Court’s decisions under the Tenth Amendment. In those decisions the Court has repeatedly said that Congress may not
order states to make particular laws or to administer a federal program. The court of appeals decision makes a county liable if its beachfront lighting regulations do not totally prevent harm to any protected sea turtle within its boundaries. In effect, this compels the county to make a particular law and to enforce the Act in place of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.