General

Justice Roberts Relied on Utility Air Regulatory Group in Upholding Obama Subsidies

Antonin_Scalia_2010

The Chief Uses Scalia's Words Against Him and I Can't Resist Saying "I Told You So"

Today’s opinion in King v. Burwell  is a victory for common sense, not to mention for the millions of people who get subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to pay for health insurance.  In determining that the subsidies for health insurance extend not only to states that established their own exchanges but also to individuals served […]

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What’s at Stake in Michigan v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court Hazardous Air Pollutant Case?

powerplant

Decision expected in next few days

Although  King v. Burwell (the Affordable Care Act case) and Obergefell v. Hodges (the same sex marriage case) are garnering more attention, sometime between tomorrow and Monday  the Supreme Court will also hand down its decision in Michigan v. EPA.  In the Michigan case, the Court will decide whether EPA’s Clean Air Act rules to regulate hazardous air pollutants […]

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Breaking News: Supreme Court Rules Federal Agricultural Program a Taking

Justices Uphold California Raisin Growers' Fifth Amendment Challenge

The United States Supreme Court today ended a David-and-Goliath-style, 10-year legal battle between a pair of California raisin growers and the federal government, declaring that the government triggered a compensable taking of the growers’ private property when a federally-controled agricultural board ordered seizure of a portion of their crop.  The Court’s decision can be accessed […]

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California Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Housing Ordinance

2105-SupremeCourtGroupPhoto

Unanimous Court Rejects Developers' Takings Challenge to San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Measure

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision issued today, rejected state developers’ efforts to nullify the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance.  That decision, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, is critically important for both state land use policy and for constitutional principles governing private property rights and the proper scope […]

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Clean Air versus States Rights

constitution

A sleeper decision by the D.C. Circuit upholds federal air pollution authority.

The D.C. Circuit’s decision last week in Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality v. EPA didn’t get a lot of attention, despite having a very significant constitutional ruling.  Since the constitutional discussion doesn’t start until about page seventy, after many pages of scintillating discussion of matters like the reliability of private air pollution monitors and the […]

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Hail to the Chief: John Roberts and the WOTUS Rule

He's Big In Beijing

Roberts virtually bemoaned the lack of a rulemaking. Now he's got what he wanted.

The government issued a long-awaited Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS for short).  No doubt there will be much gnashing of teeth about the issuance of the rule — a very safe bet since the gnashers of teeth got going long before the rule was actually issued.  But one person who should be happy […]

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All This, and the Environment, Too?

Avi Gabay, Israel's new Environmental Protection Minister

Israel's New Government Might De-emphasize Environmental Protection

It’s hardly news that Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government is the most right-wing in the country’s history, stoking dismay in the White House and in the international community. But this hardly implies a lack of environmental concern. Tzachi Hanegbi, Ariel Sharon’s Environmental Protection Minister and a Likud hard-liner, did a professional and highly competent job in […]

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A (Sometimes) Beautiful Equilibrium

John Nash

John Nash's contribution to game theory illuminates environmental issues.

John Nash and his wife died yesterday in a cab crash while returning from a trip to Norway to receive a major mathematical prize.  He is best known to the public because of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which described his struggle with mental illness.  His concept of the Nash Equilibrium is basic to a […]

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Distrust of Congress (And Why It Matters)

State Capitol, Sacramento, California

It's easy to joke about Congress's public ill-repute, but it's a serious problem.

A recent poll shows that public approval of Congress is still in the basement (though perhaps not flat on the floor, as it was before).  This graph shows the trends: But this poll on public “approval” doesn’t tell the whole story.  Here’s one that asks instead whether Americans have confidence in key institutions: The configurations […]

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