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Month: September 2012

September 28, 2012

President's Weekly Update — September 28, 2012

It’s been another busy week.  Let’s jump right to the cases. Economic Liberty Project — Freedom of Contract We filed our amicus brief in Sanchez v. Valencia Holdings in the California Supreme Court. In this case, Mr. Gil Sanchez claims to have not read an arbitration clause in his sales contract when he purchased a ...

September 28, 2012

The Euclidean Theory of constitutional interpretation

Some important insights are so clear and free of qualification that after their discovery they seem too obvious to have been disputed.  Think of “the earth is round” or “objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless a force acts upon them.”  One such insight commonly learned in law school is that a written ...

September 27, 2012

Connect the dots, la-la-la-la

This article in The Examiner reminded me of Pee Wee’s “Connect the Dots” jingle from my youth.  The article is a puff piece for the American Education Research Association’s amicus brief in support of racial preferences in Fisher v. University of Texas.  Here’s a snippet: The Hispanic and African-American minority po ...

September 27, 2012

Sackett and Constitution Day

Last week,  I spoke on a panel at Cato’s annual Constitution Day conference.  The panel’s focus was the Supreme Court’s recently completed term, viewed from a property rights perspective.  I spoke on Sackett and the decision’s significance for Clean Water Act enforcement and administrative law generally.  My essay on the ...

September 26, 2012

Decision stands in sage grouse case

Last February, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sustained the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s finding that listing the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act was warranted, but precluded by more pressing projects.  Today, the judge denied a motion by Western Watersheds Project and other environmental groups that sought to ame ...

September 26, 2012

Florida town council targets property owners for regulatory taking (or bankruptcy)

Simone and Lyder Johnson intimately know why individuals need steadfast protection against government power. Their case, which they won at the trial level, will soon be heard by the Florida Court of Appeal.  In Pacetta, LLC v. Town of Ponce Inlet, the trial court determined that the town made numerous promises to entice the Johnsons ...

September 26, 2012

More analysis on Kivalina

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the Native Village of Kivalina’s tort damages claim against a large collection of the country’s major energy producers.  (PLF submitted an amicus brief in support of the defendants).  Kivalina had argued that the defendants’ greenhouse gas emissions had cont ...

September 25, 2012

Will freedom of contract survive in the California Supreme Court?

Gil Sanchez bought a used Mercedes for $54,000.  He signed a standard sales contract used by dealerships throughout California, that he did not read.  If he had read it, he might have noticed the arbitration provision on the back of the contract, outlined by a black box.  He might also have noticed the class action ...

September 25, 2012

PLF's brief in Fisher called "most persuasive overall"

The Weekly Standard ran an article this week on the twenty or so briefs that were filed on behalf of Abigail Fisher in her challenge to the University of Texas’s race-based admissions policy.  The article finds PLF’s brief, which was joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, American Civil Rights Institute, National Association of Sc ...

September 24, 2012

"The Clean Water Act: A Problem With A Solution"

The American Conservation Ethic was put forward in 1996.  This was a statement of principles based on individual liberty, private property rights, and free markets that could serve to guide the development of national environmental policy.  To advance these principles, the Heritage Foundation has recently published Environmental Conservation: Eig ...