Chief Justice John Roberts
Signs of internal tensions within the conservative supermajority could be good news for environmental protection.
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, people known as Kremlinologists used to try to figure out what was going on behind the scenes by seeing who was standing next to whom in official photos. We have a bit more visibility into the Supreme Court, but only a bit. That being said, there are …CONTINUE READING
Justices Grant Review (Again) in the Sacketts’ Longstanding Wetlands Battle With the Government
This week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Sackett v. USEPA, No. 21-454, an important appeal involving the scope of federal authority to regulate wetlands under the Clean Water Act. If the Sackett litigation sounds familiar, it should: the case has been pending for well over a decade, and this is …CONTINUE READING
Supreme Court Finds California Labor Access Regulation Works Unconstitutional Taking of Private Property
What Are the Implications of the Cedar Point Nursery Decision for Environmental, Natural Resources & Public Health Programs?
In a closely-watched property rights decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today held unconstitutional a longstanding California regulation allowing labor unions intermittent access to agricultural workplaces for labor organizing purposes. Reversing a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a 6-3 Supreme Court majority ruled that the challenged regulation triggers a per se, compensable government “taking” …CONTINUE READING
Clean Water Act, CERCLA, Native American Law and Trump’s Border Wall Lead the List
It’s become customary for critics and observers from many disciplines to publish a wide variety of lists at year’s end, nominating the most important or best movies, music, plays, etc. of the preceding year. Why not follow that tradition in the fields of environmental law and policy? With that objective in mind, I plan over …CONTINUE READING
Justices Curb Ripeness Rule; Open Federal Courts to Takings Litigation
In the final, major environmental law decision of its current Term, the U.S. Supreme Court handed property rights advocates a major victory while repudiating an important regulatory takings precedent the Court had itself fashioned and announced 34 years ago. The case is Knick v. Township of Scott. By a narrow 5-4 vote that split …CONTINUE READING
Chief Justice Roberts’ Order a Major Win for the Trump Administration
The presently-constituted U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t seem to care for climate change litigation or regulation. On Friday the Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of freezing pending discovery and the scheduled October 29th trial date in the closely-watched Juliana v. United States litigation. In a brief order, Chief Justice Roberts stayed all district court proceedings …CONTINUE READING
Will Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Prompt Long-Awaited Decision in Key Property Rights Case?
In his wide-ranging, long-awaited and (to put it mildly) colorful press conference last week, President Trump promised to announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court within two weeks of taking the oath of office. On this pledge, at least, I believe him. Indeed, I’ll be surprised if he waits that long. Senate Republicans refused to …CONTINUE READING
Does the Court’s Decision in the Raisin Case Imperil Water Management?
When I first read Rick’s writeup of the Supreme Court’s decision in USDA v. Horne, concerning the federal government’s Depression-era system of “marketing orders” that required farmers to set aside a percentage of their raisin crop in a government-controlled account, I was worried about water. And that’s not just because I always worry about water. Horne turned on …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
But It Seems More Interested in Following John Roberts
Alex’s terrific op-ed raises two key questions, one snide and disturbing, the other more profound. As for the first, I couldn’t help notice this point in the middle of his piece: Courts often refuse to even accept difficult or sensitive cases. The Supreme People’s Court has adopted rules for breaking up class-action lawsuits and relegating …CONTINUE READING