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Month: November 2011

November 30, 2011

New York rent control headed for Supreme Court?

Of all the failed policies of Progressive-era politics, none is more egregious than rent control.  And nowhere is the failure of rent control more obvious than in New York City, where high-salaried professionals and rock stars often enjoy a legal "entitlement" to pay rent amounting to a tiny fraction of the value of their apartments. ...

November 30, 2011

Court says beluga whale is endangered, despite steady population estimates

A federal court in Washington, D.C. recently upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to list beluga whales in Cook Inlet as an endangered species, even though recent surveys show that the beluga population is not significantly declining.  The court’s decision is based on the proposition that the beluga population is end ...

November 28, 2011

When regulatory creep leads to permitting inertia

From the Washington Examiner: Anybody who wonders why the U.S. economy continues to stagger along with 9 percent unemployment and an anemic 2 percent quarterly growth rate need look no further than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under President Obama’s hand-picked administrator, Lisa Jackson, EPA is hog-tying the economy with dozen ...

November 23, 2011

Justice O'Connor Beijing property rights video available

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor gave a 20-minute video presentation on October 14 when she accepted the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize that was awarded in Beijing at the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference jointly hosted by William & Mary Law School and Tsinghua University.  The video is now available and can be viewed here.  In ...

November 23, 2011

Sackett: Big Trouble in Idaho

In 2005 Mike and Chantell Sackett purchased a vacant lot in a fully built-out portion of property along the shores of Priest Lake, in northern Idaho, with the ideas of building a modest 3-bedroom home. In 2007, they started work, but were forced to stop when the EPA claimed they were filling a wetland without ...

November 23, 2011

Do environmental concerns justify snooping and trespassing?

Check out our new Coastal Guardian to learn about the amicus brief we filed in Norris v. Witter, a case in which the Court of Appeal found that defendants who trespassed on their neighbors' property, took photographs, and reported what they saw to the Coastal Commission, were immune from liability.  The court reasoned that because ...

November 22, 2011

PLF fights the EPA to protect a couple’s dream

Mike and Chantell Sackett are being treated as criminals by EPA regulators who contend their vacant lot in northern Idaho is a “jurisdictional wetland,” and the gravel fill they placed on the lot to prepare for construction of a new home is a violation of the Clean Water Act. There’s no standing water on the ...

November 22, 2011

Who can sue to protect a beetle?

An interesting decision on the federal doctrine of standing came out last week from the District of Colorado.  Senior Judge John L. Kane ruled in WildEarth Guardians v. Salazar that the enviros’ lawsuit challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s denial of the enviros’ petition to list the Narrow-foot Hygrotus beetle under the En ...

November 21, 2011

ESA dispute avoided, thanks in part to Army's purchase of mitigation credits

The San Antonio Express-News summarizes a land deal that will allow military training exercises at Camp Bullis in Texas to go forward: An intricate land deal has been completed that will protect the military missions of Camp Bullis as well as habitat of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler north of San Antonio, officials said Wednesday. Three yea ...

November 21, 2011

PLF events in your neighborhood

Don’t forget to check our our events page for infromation about upcoming speeches by PLF staff and other events. ...