President’s weekly report — July 17, 2015

WOTUS WOTUS every where, nor a drop to drink We filed this challenge in Minnesota District Court on behalf of a variety of landowners and organizations to EPA’s new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule,  This rule, like the stuff … Continue reading

Adverse decision in green sturgeon critical habitat challenge

Today a Ninth Circuit three-judge panel issued a remarkable legal opinion.  The bottom line: Decisions to include areas as part of critical habitat for endangered or threatened species under the ESA are judicially reviewable, while decisions not to exclude areas from critical habitat are not judicially reviewable.  It’s one heck of a legal opinion.

Logic dictates that decisions to include or exclude areas from critical habitat are flip sides of the same coin. When deciding which area to include, one necessarily decides which areas not to include, i.e., which areas to exclude.  It comes down to a question of what to leave in and what to leave out.  But the Ninth Circuit panel didn’t see it that way when it opined that government decisions “not to exclude” areas from critical habitat designation for the green sturgeon species could not be judicially reviewed, on the ground that there was “no law to apply.”

The decision is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law.  But this case is of more than academic interest to lawyers.  Almost the entire West Coast of the United States has been designated by the government as critical habitat for the green sturgeon, placing substantial roadblocks to economic development and growth in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California.  Quality of life issues for millions of Americans are at stake.

We are reviewing our legal options.

President’s weekly report — June 26, 2015

The physical invasion of the raisin snatchers — a property rights victory at the Supreme Court  In a week marked by several major Supreme Court decisions that were quite disappointing to advocates of limited government and the rule of law, there was one … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — June 19, 2015

Bad news on property rights from the California Supreme Court To celebrate the Magna Carta’s 800th birthday, the California Supreme Court issued this unanimous and depressing opinion on the state of property rights in California.  California Building Industry Association v. … Continue reading

ICYMI: Capitol Hill event on the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) and Competitive Enterprise Institute held a joint event on Capitol Hill to discuss the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and U.S. Rep. … Continue reading

There are many ways to protect endangered species

If species aren’t protected under the Endangered Species Act’s burdensome approach, they’ll receive no protection at all. This is an all too common refrain. But it’s a false choice. There are many ways to try to conserve and recover species. … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — June 5, 2015

 Lawsuit abuse — Filing without injury PLF filed this letter brief asking the California Supreme Court to review of Animal Legal Defense Fund v. LT Napa Partners—which PLF asked the Supreme Court to overturn an Unfair Competition Law (UCL) case that threatens … Continue reading

Is it the Commerce Clause or the Future Commerce Clause?

The Utah prairie dog regulation prohibits the “take” (harassing, hunting, etc.) of prairie dogs on private land. The federal government, which has only the enumerated powers granted to it by the Constitution, says it can regulate purely intrastate species like … Continue reading

PLF’s Sandefur, Wood, and Thompson on property, race, and economic liberty

I guest-hosted a show on KFMB radio in San Diego last week, and discussed many of the cases PLF’s litigating in defense of private property rights, racial equality, and sensible environmental policy. In the first hour Monday, I talked about … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — May 29, 2015

POTUS’s WOTUS headed for SCOTUS? The President’s EPA minions issued the long-dreaded Waters of the United States rule this week, guaranteeing another clash before the Supreme Court of the United States. For more, and a link to our comments on the … Continue reading