Legislating through friend of the court briefs

As many Pacific Legal Foundation employees have written about before, the power of administrative agencies has increased greatly over the last century. Many Americans are now subject to rules adopted not by elected officials, but by unelected bureaucrats in the “fourth … Continue reading

Cert denied in Foster v. Vilsack

Earlier this week the Supreme Court decided not to hear the Arlen and Cindy Foster’s case against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over the Department’s illegal determination that their farm contains a federally protected wetland. The petition asked the Supreme … Continue reading

Global warming and bearded seals

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to list a population of bearded seal. Dwelling in the frigid Bering Sea, the listed seal population is, by current numbers, doing quite well. Why … 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

Court strikes down federal fracking regulations

Over on the Federalist Society’s FEDSOC BLOG, I have a post discussing a recent decision from a federal court that federal bureaucrats overstepped their authority when they adopted fracking regulations. In 2005, Congress exempted fracking from regulation under the Safe … Continue reading

Separation, delegation and deference

Ever since the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. NRDC, federal administrative agencies tasked with implementing statutes have been given broad discretion to determine the scope of ambiguous statutory terms.  As a result, agencies have sought to maximize their powers whenever Congress uses an even arguably … Continue reading

Another Clean Water Act power grab for the Court to consider

Last Friday, the Supreme Court extended the deadline for the American Farm Bureau Federation to file a petition for certiorari in its case challenging the EPA’s interpretation of the Total Maximum Daily Load or “TMDL” provision of the Clean Water … Continue reading

Facts matter in a constitutional challenge

This week, PLF filed an amicus brief asking the Texas Supreme Court to review Patterson v. City of Bellmead.  The Pattersons are challenging a law that requires a kennel permit for any property owner that has more than four cats or … Continue reading

Justice Stevens’ environmental law legacy

Author: Damien M. Schiff Grist.com has this fairly well-balanced piece by Doug Kendall lauding retiring Justice John Paul Stevens' judicial decisions dealing with environmental law issues over his three-decade-plus tenure on the Supreme Court.  The article's thesis is that Justice Stevens … Continue reading