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Month: November 2013

November 27, 2013

Does pervasive regulation void the Takings Clause?

Yes, says the federal government.  In their most recent filing in Mehaffy v. United States, lawyers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers argue that a property owner’s takings claim is weakened if the property is subject to preexisting, comprehensive regulation. You may recall that the Mehaffy case involves an Arkansas property owner who sued ...

November 26, 2013

Obamacare headed for U.S. Supreme Court again

The diagnosis is getting worse for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Obamacare. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Corp. v. Sebelius. Both cases challenge Obamacare's mandate that employers pay for health insurance plans that give employees coverage for contr ...

November 26, 2013

Coastal Commission rides roughshod over billboard owners' property rights

The California Coastal Commission is at it again, trying to rid the coastal zone of all things private and commercial.  But this time, it’s doing so indirectly–using another state agency to do its bidding. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is the state agency responsible for managing and improving California’ ...

November 25, 2013

Freakonomics on CEQA's environmental counterproductivity and NIMBYism

If you’re interested in CEQA reform, give a listen to this week’s Freakonomics podcast featuring Prof. Ed Glaeser. He discusses a number of environmental policies where messaging has outpaced the green credentials of policy, leading not only to waste, but sometimes actually worsening the environment. What example did he give as his case ...

November 25, 2013

PLF argues employers aren't responsible for employees' purely personal conduct

A woman ends her shift, puts on yoga clothes, and leaves work.  She plans to stop for some frozen yogurt before heading to yoga class.  But as she drives to the yogurt shop, she hits a motorcyclist.  Is the employer on the hook for the motorcyclist's injuries?  You might think not, since she wasn't running ...

November 25, 2013

How the Pilgrims learned about private property rights

In this special Thanksgiving PLF Podcast, I tell the story of how the Pilgrims learned the importance of private property rights. I quote an excerpt from William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation that you can read here. And Tom Bethell's book The Noblest Triumph tells the story especially well. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast for weekly ...

November 22, 2013

President's weekly report — November 22, 2013

Free Enterprise Project — the Yogurt – Yoga – Work connection We filed this amicus brief in Moradi v. Marsh, where we are asking the California Supreme Court to take up the enigmatic work-to-yogurt-to-yoga connection.  In this case an employee used her automobile for work related activities.  At the end of her work day, she cha ...

November 22, 2013

PLF files amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court rails-to-trails case

Earlier today, PLF filed its amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States. The case arises from the federal government's "Rails-to-Trails" program, which seeks to convert old, abandoned railroad tracks into recreational trails. As nice as that program may sound, there is a problem with it: many ...

November 21, 2013

California's under-performing schools highlight need for school choice

California's K-12 students have some of the lowest standardized test scores in the nation.  Further, the performance gap separating white students from their black and Hispanic classmates is larger in California than it is nationwide.  California's children are suffering, but what can we do about it? School choice would improve California's publi ...

November 21, 2013

Law students: Clerk at PLF this summer!

Pacific Legal Foundation is offering full-time summer law clerkships in its Sacramento headquarters. Clerkships run May 27 – Aug. 29, 2014 (although these dates are flexible if necessary). ...