Newly-accepted case pits private property rights against government land use authority
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear and decide an important “regulatory takings” case from California that has major implications for federal, state and local governments nationwide. The case is Sheetz v. County of El Dorado, Docket No. 22-1074. Even before the justices granted review in the Sheetz case last Friday, the Court’s 2023-24 …CONTINUE READING
The Supreme Court’s wetlands opinion was terrible. Now what we do?
The Supreme Court’s opinion in the Sackett case dramatically curtails the permitting program covering wetlands. We urgently need to find strategies for saving the wetlands the Court left unprotected. We have a number of possible strategies and need to start work on implementing them immediately. Sackett was unquestionably a major blow, reducing federal jurisdiction over …CONTINUE READING
The Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA will be bad for the nation’s wetlands. It is just as bad for democracy.
The Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to defend a large portion of the nation’s wetlands and waterways from pollution. The decision strips key environmental protections from the Clean Water Act by narrowly defining which bodies of water can be regulated under the Act, making it the most …CONTINUE READING
The climate crisis is unprecedented. So is its legal fallout.
In teaching my class on Climate Law, I’ve been struck by how many new legal questions courts are confronting as a result of the climate crisis. Dealing with these new legal questions is going to put stress on existing legal doctrines and require courts to rethink some basic principles. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is pushing …CONTINUE READING
A Century Ago, the Supreme Court Created a Transformative Legal Doctrine Out of Whole Cloth
One hundred years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a radical constitutional decision that over the last century has proven enormously consequential in a host of environmental, natural resources and public health contexts. In the December 1922 decision Pennsylvania Coal Company v. Mahon, a divided Supreme Court created the constitutional doctrine of “regulatory …CONTINUE READING
Sackett v. EPA–the Most Important Environmental Case on the Justices’ Current Docket–Will Answer the Key Question of How Far Federal Wetlands Regulation Extends Under the Clean Water Act
Today the U.S. Supreme Court formally begins its 2022-23 Term. First up on the justices’ docket this morning is a major environmental case: Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 21-454. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Over the past half-century, no single CWA issue has proven more contentious and …CONTINUE READING
Climate change is coming to Chicago and Lake Michigan.
“My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town.” Or so Frank Sinatra sang. I’m not sure he really felt that way himself, but the song rings a chord with me. I didn’t grow up in Chicago but we visited frequently to see my parents’ families. Chicago is also, as it turns out, ground …CONTINUE READING
In a forgotten incident, Congress set aside Hot Springs in 190 years ago.
The origins of the national park system is usually traced back Lincoln’s 1864 signature of the Yosemite Grant Act. But Congress had actually had the idea of protecting extraordinary places over thirty years earlier, in Arkansas of all places. Hot Springs isn’t high on the list of American places to see, which may be one …CONTINUE READING
Manaus Action Plan for a New Forest Economy advances ambitious action at Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force 12th Annual Meeting hosted by state of Amazonas
For more than a decade of leadership and innovation, member states and provinces of the Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force have been developing strategies, programs, investment plans, and new legal structures to address tropical deforestation, embark on a low-emissions development path, and benefit their populations and the climate. These governments have developed jurisdiction-specific, …CONTINUE READING
12th Annual Meeting of GCF Task Force hosted by Governor of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil, March 15-18, 2022
This week, on the banks of the largest river system in the world, Governors, environment secretaries and civil servants, Indigenous peoples and local community leaders, national governments, the private sector, and partner organizations will be meeting to discuss innovative partnerships and solutions to the threat of tropical deforestation at the 12th Annual Meeting of the …CONTINUE READING