preemption

Gorsuch and the Environment: A Closer Look

Gorsuch doesn’t seem to have a strong agenda in this area, with several pro-environmental rulings.

What could we expect from Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice in environmental and energy cases?   After reading all the opinions I could find, I’d say the best news is this: He doesn’t seem to have any particular agenda in the area.  That distinguishes him from some past appointees such as Clarence Thomas, who …

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Can California keep its federal lands public?

SB 50, introduced in State Senate, seeks to retain public ownership of federal lands in the state

There’s been a fair amount of national debate lately about whether federal public lands in the West should be transferred to state or private ownership. Rep. Chaffetz (R) from Utah had introduced a bill to transfer millions of acres of federal land in a range of Western states to private or state ownership – he …

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Scott Pruitt, Senator Harris and the California Question

California leadership in peril?

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, elided many questions yesterday and made some somewhat surprising commitments to appease Senate Democrats in response to others (acknowledging that humans are at least partially responsible for climate change; saying he’ll use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases).  But his response to …

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State regulation of environmental harms on federal lands

California Supreme Court case indicates substantial authority for states to act

Sean has already reported on the recent Rinehart decision by the California Supreme Court, in which the Court concluded that a state law imposing a temporary moratorium on the use of suction dredge equipment in California waterways was not preempted by federal mining law.  Here, I just want to add to Sean’s excellent summary by …

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California Supreme Court Holds Unanimously that the State May Restrict Mining Methods on Federal Lands

Court in People v. Rinehart Upholds State Moratorium on Suction-Dredge Mining

Last year, as I discussed in a prior post, the California Supreme Court granted the State of California’s petition for review in the case of People v. Rinehart.  I’m pleased to say that today, the Supreme Court has issued a unanimous opinion, authored by Justice Werdegar, in favor of the state’s moratorium on suction-dredge mining on federal lands. …

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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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Shark Fins, Federal Preemption & the Ninth Circuit–An Update

Last week I wrote about an interesting, pending lawsuit involving a constitutional challenge to California’s recently-enacted ban on the sale, possession or trade of shark fins. Asian restauranteurs and cultural advocates who’d filed the lawsuit and failed in their earlier efforts to persuade the federal district court to enjoin the law appealed that ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for …

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Feds Argue California’s Shark Fin Ban Is Preempted in Third-Party Litigation

In 2011, the State of California enacted a ban on the sale, possession and trade of shark fins.  California’s ban follows similar laws passed by Hawaii, Washington and Oregon over the past few years.  The legislation, codified as California Fish & Game Code sections 2021 and 2021.5, followed years of advocacy by marine conservation groups, …

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The Congressional Back Door Attack on California’s Environmental Programs

California’s Environmental Programs

Today’s Los Angeles Times reports on disturbing, broad-based efforts in Congress that threaten to eviscerate a host of California’s cutting-edge environmental initiatives, most prominently its “Green Chemistry” program. The saga begins with the California Legislature’s enactment of the state’s “Green Chemistry Initiative” (GCI) in 2008.  The overarching principle behind GCI is to mandate the design of chemical products …

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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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