Bumblebees are not Fish

Yesterday the California Supreme Court ruled that the state’s bumblebees can be protected under the law as a type of fish according to California Endangered Species Act. Ahhh….ok…. This has to be fodder for all manner of internet memes, YouTube videos and possibly a SNL skit. The court actually ruled that it would not hear arguments over whether the California Fish and Game Commission can consider granting protections to a number of bumblebee species whose populations are in steady decline. In writing for the court, however, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said that even though the law does not use the word “insects,” sections of the law suggest that invertebrates may be grouped under the category of fish. She also suggested that the Legislature “is in a position to make whatever statutory amendments it may regard as necessary or useful” to clarify such ambiguities in the endangered species act. The Chief Justice warned against misconstruing the decision as “an affirmative determination by this court that under the law, bumblebees are fish.”  A needed clarification.

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