California Supreme Court

California Supreme Court to Decide Whether the Mining Law Preempts State Ban on Suction Dredge Mining

Court’s Decision May Affect State’s Ability to Regulate Activities on Federal Lands

The California Supreme Court recently accepted a case that may make it more difficult for the state to protect the environment from the damaging impacts of mining. At issue is the state’s ban on suction-dredge mining in streambeds. Californians engaged in suction-dredge mining have vigorously fought against the state’s ban, and a panel of the …

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America’s Future on the California Supreme Court

I’m not sure that anyone has pointed this out before: as of last week, when Justices Mariano-Florentino Cuellar and Leondra R. Krueger were sworn, the California Supreme Court does not have a single white male. I believe that that is the first time in US history where that has happened on a high court in …

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Sierra Club Entitled to County’s GIS Database Under California Public Records Act, Says California Supreme Court

Back in the day, when I toiled in the California Attorney General’s Office, I served a stint supervising the unit of that Office that oversees litigation involving California’s “little Freedom-of-Information Act,” officially known as the California Public Records Act (PRA). My standing advice to my attorney colleagues was never to allow a case to reach the …

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California Supreme Court Upholds Local Government Bans on Pot Dispensaries

In its most important land use decision since 2011, the California Supreme Court has upheld local governments’ power to ban marijuana dispensaries within their jurisdictions. Last week the court unanimously rejected marijuana advocates’ claim that such local bans are preempted by California state law. The Supreme Court’s opinion in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire …

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California Supreme Court Upholds Abolition of Local Redevelopment Agencies

The California Supreme Court waited until the very end of 2011 to issue the year’s most important land use decision. While the specific issues relate to arcane issues of public finance and state constitutional law, today’s decision in California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos is likely to have major consequences for local land use authority and …

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Libertarians for Environmental Red Tape!

  Libertarians have long castigated environmental review statutes, such as NEPA and CEQA, for trampling private property rights, the theory being that they make developing property so difficult and expensive that they are tantamount to disrupting those right. That’s why it was so odd to see the Pacific Legal Foundation advocating for more prolix environmental …

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California Supreme Court decides in favor of accurate environmental impact analysis (and cleaner air)

The California Supreme Court just issued an important decision interpreting public agencies’ obligations under the California Environmental Quality Act.  This case will result in cleaner air in southern California.  It also establishes that public agencies must measure environmental impacts from a new project against actual existing conditions, rather than against theoretical conditions (based on permits …

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The California Supreme Court examines technology-based air quality emissions standards

The California Supreme Court granted review last week in a potentially important environmental case, National Paint and Coatings Association v. South Coast Air Quality Management District. The opinion of the Court of Appeal – certainly among the most colorfully-written appellate opinions I’ve ever read, and worth checking out for that reason alone – held that the …

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