New Jersey places a bet on the Constitution

States are not puppets of the federal government, to be manipulated to accomplish whatever policy the federal government might prefer. If they were, both individual liberty and political accountability would be compromised. That’s why our Constitution forbids the feds from … Continue reading

Not everything should be a crime

Over at The Daily Caller, I have an editorial discussing how the federal government’s hypocritical decision against prosecuting the EPA officials responsible for the Animas River spill highlights the urgent need to address overcriminalization. The decision, made by prosecutors who … Continue reading

The best way to protect the environment isn’t always obvious

Our friend Brian Seasholes of the Reason Foundation has an article on DailyCaller.com on one of the oft overlooked environmental benefits of fracking: preserving open space as habitat for wildlife. He ends the article with a point that applies far … Continue reading

Marin County and the California Coastal Commission overreaching with Local Coastal Program amendments

The voluntary preservation of agricultural lands is a noble goal. Forcing landowners into government-run conservation efforts against their will, however, is something else entirely. And a desire to conserve pastoral farmland doesn’t excuse government from following the laws and constitutions … Continue reading

PLF argues that business losses are recoverable in eminent domain cases

One of the most basic protections that the U.S. Constitution provides for property owners is the guarantee that the government cannot take private property without paying just compensation. That mandate is intended not only to ensure that owners are made … Continue reading

New Endangered Species Act regulations will improve the statute’s implementation

This week, the Fish and Wildlife Service finalized its proposed regulations to reform the Endangered Species Act petition process. The regulation incorporates several important reforms and is a welcome sign for all of us who care about protecting species and … Continue reading

Should unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats have free rein to regulate whatever they please?

PLF argues “no,” in an amicus brief supporting four states, industry groups, and an Indian tribe in their challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) unlawful fracking regulation. It purports to regulate all fracking on federal lands based on … Continue reading

CA Supreme Court invites state to frustrate federal policy

The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in People v. Rinehart, concerning the legality of the state’s ban on suction dredge mining. The case concerns an apparent conflict between federal law, which encourages mining on federal lands, and … Continue reading

Federal supremacy protects miners’ rights

PLF and Western Mining Alliance have filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit case Bohmker v. Oregon. In the brief, we argue that federal mining policy preempts Oregon’s ban on a federally-approved and encouraged mining practice. Part of having … Continue reading