Review denied in green sturgeon case

Yesterday, we received the disappointing news that the Supreme Court denied our petition for certiorari to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. United States Department of Commerce. Our petition asked the High Court … Continue reading

Weekly litigation report — August 14, 2016

Property rights — California Supreme Court rules on compensation issues Complaint filed in extortionate low-income housing demand Ancient custom of beach driving? Sign ban repealed Endangered species and the green sturgeon Shoreline buffer exactions challenge at the Supreme Court WOTUS … Continue reading

Briefing complete in the green sturgeon case

This week, we filed our reply brief to our request to the United States Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. United States Department of Commerce. We have asked … Continue reading

Bureaucrats shouldn’t be able to escape legal scrutiny

Yesterday, Townhall published my op-ed highlighting the importance of PLF’s big, unanimous Supreme Court win in our Hawkes case (and its predecessor, Sackett) and whether these cases foreshadow anything for one of our cases currently pending before the Court. As regular … Continue reading

Amicus support for the green sturgeon petition

In the last few days, we’ve received a great collection of amicus briefs supporting our cert petition challenging the Ninth Circuit’s decision in the green sturgeon case, Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. United States Department of Commerce.  The issue … Continue reading

Is economically disastrous environmental regulation subject to judicial review?

So ask PLF attorneys on behalf of trade and property rights groups in a cert petition filed this week.  The case, Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. United States Department of Commerce, concerns the critical habitat designation for a … Continue reading

Adverse decision in green sturgeon critical habitat challenge

Today a Ninth Circuit three-judge panel issued a remarkable legal opinion.  The bottom line: Decisions to include areas as part of critical habitat for endangered or threatened species under the ESA are judicially reviewable, while decisions not to exclude areas from critical habitat are not judicially reviewable.  It’s one heck of a legal opinion.

Logic dictates that decisions to include or exclude areas from critical habitat are flip sides of the same coin. When deciding which area to include, one necessarily decides which areas not to include, i.e., which areas to exclude.  It comes down to a question of what to leave in and what to leave out.  But the Ninth Circuit panel didn’t see it that way when it opined that government decisions “not to exclude” areas from critical habitat designation for the green sturgeon species could not be judicially reviewed, on the ground that there was “no law to apply.”

The decision is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law.  But this case is of more than academic interest to lawyers.  Almost the entire West Coast of the United States has been designated by the government as critical habitat for the green sturgeon, placing substantial roadblocks to economic development and growth in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California.  Quality of life issues for millions of Americans are at stake.

We are reviewing our legal options.

Green sturgeon critical habitat challenge: oral argument this week

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, at 9 a.m., I’ll be arguing at the 9th Circuit in support of our challenge under the Endangered Species Act to the critical habitat designation for a marine species known as the green sturgeon.  The critical … Continue reading

Government celebrates ESA’s 40th birthday by gifting west coast to green sturgeon

The federal government recently designated virtually the entire West Coast of the United States as critical habitat for a marine species known as the green sturgeon, including 1,421-square miles of coastal marine areas, 897-square miles of estuaries, and hundreds of … Continue reading

President’s weekly roundup

Catch up on what you may have missed from PLF this week: Free Enterprise Project:  Arbitration Contracts California took another step in denying the right of Californians to enter into contracts with arbitration clauses when the California Supreme Court denied … Continue reading