Murchison Book Examines ‘Snail Darter’ Case

With the discovery of a tiny fish in a soon-to-be-flooded stretch of the Little Tennessee River, construction on a dam that had already cost taxpayers $100 million came crashing to a halt. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the snail darter was instantly transformed into both an icon for species preservation and a despised symbol of the environmental movement’s alleged excesses.

In the new book, The Snail Darter Case: TVA versus the Endangered Species Act, author and LSU Law Professor Kenneth M. Murchison expertly examines the intense legal battle that resulted in the first true test of the Endangered Species Act, following the case all the way to the Supreme Court. The book was published by the University of Kansas Press in March.

"Murchison’s insightful study provides a revealing look at one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important environmental decisions and a milestone in late twentieth-century conservation politics," said Jeffrey K. Stine, author of Mixing Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

Professor Murchison is the James E. and Betty M. Phillips Professor of Law at the Law Center and author of Federal Criminal Law Doctrines: The Forgotten Influence of National Prohibition.