Federal court rejects state liability for take of endangered whooping cranes based on issuing water right permits

In a recent decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Texas’ water rights permitting system did not result in illegal take of endangered whooping cranes merely because water was legally diverted from rivers that ultimately flow to one … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — July 18, 2014

Equality Under the Law Project — Implicit Bias Victory The Iowa Supreme Court today issued this unanimous opinion in Pippen v. State of Iowa, tossing out an “implicit bias” discrimination lawsuit against the State of Iowa. Under the theory of … Continue reading

Re-cap of argument in San Diego seawall appeal

Yesterday, I argued Lynch v. California Coastal Commission, in the California Court of Appeal in San Diego.  As I explained last week, the appeal centers on the Commission’s refusal to allow two families to rebuild a shared, private staircase down to … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — July 11, 2014

Government Overreach and Overcharging — Fishing for Prison Time PLF, on behalf of itself and several commercial fishing organizations across the United States, filed this amicus brief at the United States Supreme Court this week in Yates v. United States.  This is … Continue reading

PLF to argue Coastal Commission appeal concerning property rights

On Monday, July 14, at 9:00 a.m., I will be in the California Court of Appeal (San Diego) arguing an appeal brought by the California Coastal Commission in Lynch v. California Coastal Commission.  At stake is two Encinitas families’ right … Continue reading

Has the California Coastal Commission read Koontz?

Evidently not.  This week the Commission is meeting in Ventura, California, and one of the items it’s considering is a request from the City of Ventura to change the zoning on a few undeveloped coastal parcels, to accommodate a possible … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — July 4, 2014

The theme of this week’s legal report is liberty and is dedicated to the writings of Thomas Jefferson Supreme Court filings:  “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat … Continue reading

Is there any limit to the Takings Clause’s Public Use requirement?

Last week, the Utah Supreme Court revived a challenge to the Utah Department of Transportation’s abuse of eminent domain. The Department needed a small part (1.2 acres) of a larger parcel (15 acres) for a light rail project. Instead of … Continue reading