Klamath takings litigation heads to the Oregon Supreme Court

As Dan Tarlock and I detailed in our book Water War in the Klamath Basin: Macho Law, Combat Biology, and Dirty Politics, the Klamath Basin has been a hotbed for litigation on a variety of fronts since irrigation deliveries from the Klamath Reclamation Project were temporarily curtailed in the critically dry summer of 2001.  Now there’s a new twist in the takings litigation brought by the Project irrigators.  In two opinions issued in 2005 and 2007, the Court of Claims rejected the irrigators’ takings and contract claims, respectively.  On appeal of the takings decision, the Federal Circuit certified three questions to the Oregon Supreme Court about state law property rights to water.  Last week, the state court agreed to resolve those questions.  Dan and I write about the takings litigation and its most recent twist in a post on the blog of the Center for Progressive Reform.

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Reader Comments

One Reply to “Klamath takings litigation heads to the Oregon Supreme Court”

  1. These arguments have been advanced in California, without success.

    Whether water rights, or any rights, are “property” within the protections of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments is, in general, a question of state law. Certification by the Federal Circuit to the Oregon Supreme Court of the question of the state law status of the irrigators’ water rights thus does not strike me as unusual or alarming.

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About Holly

Holly Doremus

Holly Doremus is the James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation at UC Berkeley. Doremus brings a strong background in life sciences and a comm…

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