PLF defends small farmer from big-time EPA bullying on Courting Liberty

Wyoming farmer Andy Johnson built a stock pond with state approval. The EPA is threatening him with astronomical fines of $37,500 per day. Andy Johnson is being forced to dismantle his stock pond – even though it benefits the environment, and … 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

Wisconsin bureaucrats take liberties with the Takings Clause on Courting Liberty

PLF Director of Communications Harold Johnson and PLF Northwest Center Principal Attorney John Groen discuss the seeking of Supreme Court review of an important “relevant parcel” property rights case.  The case asks whether government can forbid development on a private parcel, without … 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

Arizona’s crazy abusive civil forfeiture law

Many states throughout the country have terribly abusive and unconstitutional civil asset forfeiture laws. These laws unfairly stack the deck against innocent property owners by presuming their property is guilty of a crime and forcing the owner to prove innocence … Continue reading

Challenging Oakland’s public art mandate on Courting Liberty

PLF has filed a lawsuit to challenge the City of Oakland’s ordinance that requires developers of commercial and residential projects to fund public art works. In this week’s Courting Liberty, PLF Senior Staff Attorney Tony Francois discusses the ordinance and … Continue reading

Corps and EPA clean water rule attacked by . . . the Corps?

We have been reporting on numerous challenges to the Corps and EPA’s new rule redefining “waters of the United States” for weeks, including our own.  More than 10 suits have been filed across the country challenging the rule for violating … Continue reading

Thousands of loyal grassroots supporters can’t be wrong: PLF is no “tool” of big business

Every once in a while, someone who doesn’t like the free legal representation PLF provides to individuals threatened by government abuse or who opposes our mission to restore individual liberty from coast to coast will scour the internet for some … Continue reading