Law: Mr. Bell Argues His Case

Before the U.S. Supreme Court, the snail darter v. the dam

Dressed in a swallow-tailed coat, Attorney General Griffin Bell stood before the nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and held up a small plastic vial containing a dead three-inch fish. Despite some mirth in the audience, Bell was not being frivolous. Making his first argument ever before the court, the Attorney General contended that the small fish, known as a snail darter, should not be allowed to hold up construction on a $120 million dam project that is 90% complete.

Like the lousewort, which stalled a $690 million hydroelectric project in...

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