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Month: May 2012

May 31, 2012

Court rebuffs environmentalists’ attempts to dictate national global warming policy

A federal court in D.C. just threw out a case in which extreme environmentalists tried to force the United States to take immediate steps to curb carbon dioxide emissions to permanently reverse global warming.  Fearing the federal government would not adequately defend the lawsuit,  PLF successfully intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of severa ...

May 31, 2012

States should refuse to establish Obamacare exchanges

An excellent video explaining why states should resist the urge to begin implementing the Obamacare “exchanges,” at the very least, until the Supreme Court rules. ...

May 31, 2012

Cal Supremes take up important CEQA case

Last week, the California Supreme Court granted review in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley.  The case concerns the scope of the single-family residence “categorical exemption” under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  Pursuant to CEQA, an environmental impact report must be prepared for every discretio ...

May 30, 2012

Do property owners have a right to recover damages for bureaucratic delay?

At PLF, we litigate for judicial acceptance of the idea that property owners should be allowed to reasonably use their property without undue interference from the government.  Many of our clients, such as Wendy Birnbaum, believe in this principle, but find themselves tangled in red tape when they actually exercise their property rights. Ms. Birnb ...

May 29, 2012

Reexamining the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions

Tomorrow, I will be speaking at the annual LSI Regulatory Takings conference about the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions.  This doctrine holds that the government cannot condition the provision of a discretionary benefit (e.g., a permit, license, grant, contract, etc.) upon a requirement that a person give up a constitutionally protected rig ...

May 29, 2012

The Supreme Court should overrule Grutter

Today, Pacific Legal Foundation filed its brief in the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas. As you know, PLF has been heavily involved in Fisher for almost three years. We did a video on the case.  I authored these two articles on the case.  We appeared on NPR and wrote op-eds.  And, of ...

May 25, 2012

Occupational licensing in Oregon

The Oregonian‘s guest columnist “Portland Aristotle” has an excellent article about the wealth-destroying effects of occupational licensing. A few years ago, PLF helped open the road to economic opportunity in Oregon by defeating that state’s anti-competitive licensing laws for moving companies. ...

May 25, 2012

The founders and the primacy of liberty

Prof. Samuelson has a thorough response to my post about John Adams and individual liberty. While it's true I'm not a great admirer of Adams (I'm much fonder of his son), my point was not biographical or historical, but philosophical: democracy is an instrumental good, one that is valuable only insofar as it protects the ...

May 24, 2012

EPA may provide regulatory relief to forest road owners

Yesterday, the EPA announced its intent to amend its Clean Water Act stormwater regulations governing runoff from forest roads and other silvicultural activities.  EPA’s action is the result of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown, for which a petition for certiorari is pending in the United S ...

May 23, 2012

Quote of the day: Abigail Therstrom

From her interview with the Wall Street Journal: After the passage in 1996 of California’s Proposition 209, which banned the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions in that state, “the system as a whole did not lose blacks, and minority graduation rates went up. Nobody wants to talk about that. All that ...