President’s weekly report — October 2, 2015

Endangered species — Utah prairie dog Oral argument was held this week in People for Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the case where we are challenging the right of the federal government to … Continue reading

When legislatures violate your rights, who’s going to stop them?

Today, PLF urged the Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal to take up its duty to protect individual rights, and to enforce the state constitution’s protections for economic liberty. Occupational licensing has run amok.  As a White House Report recently … Continue reading

PLF’s Timothy Sandefur to testify to U.S. Senate about economic liberty and the rights of minorities

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts is holding a hearing Tuesday called “Opportunity Denied: How Overregulation Harms Minorities.” I’ll be testifying about how occupational licensing laws and Competitor’s Veto laws exclude would-be … Continue reading

Licensing of landscapers set to change in Oregon

Oregon is one of the few states that requires landscape contractors to be licensed. One of Oregon’s requirements is that aspiring landscapers must pass a written exam. The Pacific Legal Foundation is generally opposed to anti-competitive occupational licensing laws, which … Continue reading

Belts, suspenders, and overalls–the pointless and harmful growth of wrongful discharge law

The Supreme Court of Washington is on a crusade to protect workers from evil bosses even when it’s unnecessary and hurts everyone. … Continue reading

Happy Constitution Day!

I like to think every day is Constitution Day at PLF, as every day we celebrate the Constitution’s protections for individual rights and fight for both liberty and its corollary: limited government. But today, September 17, really is Constitution Day—the … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — September 4, 2015

Endangered Species Act:  Delist the Kangaroo Rat The federal government’s intransigence when it comes to delisting recovering species reveals both the government’s disregard for the rule of law and the underlying real goal of so much environmental legislation: to restrict … Continue reading

Constitutional outrages and power outages

Those are EPA’s gifts to the nation under the so-called Clean Power Plan.  On August 3rd, EPA unveiled the Plan as a set of Clean Air Act regulations.  Among other things, the Clean Power Plan dictates the mix of fuels that may be used to generate electricity throughout the nation, heavily favoring solar and wind over coal and natural gas, thereby furthering EPA’s goal of saving the planet from carbon dioxide.  The power grid will come under enormous pressure if and when the Clean Power Plan is implemented.  Power outages and substantial increases in electricity costs are virtually guaranteed.  Moreover, the Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional.

For decades, there has been a “bright line” divide between federal authority over wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce and state authority over planning, siting, and providing generation resources to local customers.  According to the Supreme Court, the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from disrupting that traditional constitutional balance between state and federal authority unless it is “abundantly clear” that a federal statute “compels” the intrusion into state sovereignty.  Here, just the reverse is true,  It is “abundantly clear” that the Clean Air Act does not give EPA the authority to dictate to the states the specific way in which electricity must be generated within their borders.  Federalism is a central component of our constitutional system of government, and the Clean Power Plan ignores it.  Look for legal challenges from states (and others) against this federal attack on the 10th Amendment.

The federal government doesn’t make mistakes

In essence, that’s what a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held in a recent decision regarding critical habitat designation under the Endangered Species Act. The National Marine Fisheries Service designated virtually the entire West Coast of the United States as … Continue reading

Class actions v. due process

In a case that will be heard next term, the Supreme Court will have to decide the limits of class action litigation.  In our amicus brief brief, PLF urges the Court to scrutinize those limits closely. In Bouaphakeo v. Tyson … Continue reading