The Supreme Court is leaving a court order as it stands that will force the state of Washington to remove barriers to salmon habitats. The culverts set in place by the state block fish migration.
The Supreme Court justices were divided in a 4-4 vote, that has put Washington state tribes and the state itself as well as the federal government. According to the Associated Press, Justice Anthony Kennedy stepped aside from the case because he participated in an earlier stage of it when he served on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The issue at hand is whether the state of Washington must fix culverts -- large pipes that allow waterways, yet block migrating salmon if they become blocked or clogged.
One estimate for the state claims repairs could go as high as $1.9 billion.
Stay tuned for updated coverage.