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Month: December 2012

December 31, 2012

Michigan “Feral Pig” update, or “Why suing the government feels like a ‘Sisyphean task’”

Last April, we reported the sad and bizarre story of farmers in Michigan who were told that their barnyard pigs were "feral" and had to be destroyed.  According to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Invasive Species Order, pigs that display certain vague and contradictory characteristics—i.e. a straight tail or a curly tail—are feral ...

December 31, 2012

Things fall apart–Beltway edition

Yeats’ eerie, prophetic poem “The Second Coming” is one of the great masterpieces of twentieth century literature. In it, he warns of the imminent collapse of civilization, at a time when Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed ...

December 28, 2012

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces departure

In the wake of rumors that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar may resign from the cabinet, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson yesterday formally announced her departure.  Cabinet officials frequently rotate out of government as an administration transitions to a second term, so Jackson has not surprised anyone by leaving.  She has not announced a depa ...

December 28, 2012

President's weekly report — December 28, 2012

There were only a few developments in this week between holidays. Let us hope that the New Year is a good one for liberty and limited government. Individual Rights — Equality Under the Law Project Connerly v. State of California, the Superior Court held that the appointment of members of the California Citizen Redistricting Commission ...

December 27, 2012

Siskiyou County farmers win the day in court against California Department of Fish and Game effort to regulate their water rights

Farmers in the Scott and Shasta Valleys of California's Siskiyou County got an early gift on Christmas Eve, when the Siskiyou County Superior Court handed down a favorable ruling in their legal battle with the California Department of Fish and Game over whether the Department can issue permits to regulate water rights in California.  The ...

December 26, 2012

Sacramento Superior Court holds "public officers" can treat people differently because of race

Today we learned that the Sacramento Superior Court sustained the government’s demurrer in Connerly v. State of California.  This case challenged Government Code Section 8252 as facially unconstitutional, because it requires members of the Citizens Redistricting Commission to appoint officers to serve on the Commission according to their r ...

December 21, 2012

President's weekly report — December 21, 2012

We had a number of decisions come down this week, presumably part of the rush to get these in before the end of world later today. Individual Rights — First Amendment On Thursday, a the Ninth Circuit overturned a federal district court ruling and upheld the City of San Diego's low-cost leases (including at Balboa ...

December 21, 2012

Poultry farmer's suit results in EPA withdrawing its compliance order

Earlier this year, a poultry farmer sued the EPA challenging a compliance order which alleged that the farm's operations violated the Clean Water Act.  The EPA — apparently familiar with the butterfly effect — claimed that dander and dust particles from the chicken coops were spit out by a ventilation fan, that heavy rains could wash away ...

December 21, 2012

CEQA: More precious than the Constitution?

We previously reported on the decision from California's Fifth Appellate District in the case of Tuolumne Jobs, holding that CEQA applies to local voter initiatives under certain circumstances.  Earlier this month, the real parties in interest in the case, James Grinnell, Wal-Mart Stores, and the City of Sonora, filed petitions for review in the ...

December 20, 2012

Defending the right to remain silent in the workplace

The new issue of Regulation magazine has my article about Knox v. SEIU and the First Amendment right of workers not to be forced to support political campaigns they disagree with. ...

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