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Month: February 2014

February 28, 2014

President's weekly report — February 28, 2014

Water Rights — The Public Trust Doctrine and The Blob In 1958 American audiences first saw Steve McQueen as a teenager trying to save his town from The Blob, the ever-expanding amoeba-like alien monster that threatened to engulf everything in its path.  This week, almost fifty-six years later, our own Damien Schiff filed this amicus brief ...

February 28, 2014

Compelled union dues are compelled speech

The United States Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Harris v. Quinn, an important compelled-speech case. This case challenges Illinois' classification as "state employees" of all home health-care workers that receive reimbursements from the government's Medicaid program. As a part of that classification, Illinois forced all of those wor ...

February 27, 2014

Does “diversity” require race-based recruiting in college basketball?

There are many factors that college basketball coaches consider when making recruitment decisions.  These may include how well an athlete can shoot, dribble, pass, rebound, as well as how the athlete gets along with other players and coaches.  But if universities and coaches believe the results of a new study, they may also try to recruit ...

February 27, 2014

Global warming: an excuse for unlimited bureaucracy?

I talked this morning with Armstrong & Getty about Monday’s Supreme Court arguments in the greenhouse gases case. If you missed it, you can listen here. You can learn more about that case with this helpful post at SCOTUSBlog, and you can read PLF’s brief in that case here. ...

February 27, 2014

PLF's Timothy Sandefur teaches at "Stossel U"

If you missed my appearance on John Stossel’s show the other day, you can watch it here. (By the way, the “liberal college” I attended is Chaffey Community College in Rancho Cucamonga, California. I later transferred to Hillsdale.) ...

February 27, 2014

The public trust doctrine and groundwater

This week, Pacific Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief in Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board.  The brief, filed on behalf of the California Farm Bureau Federation, addresses the constitutional consequences of applying the public trust doctrine to groundwater extraction.  The public trust doctrine is a common l ...

February 26, 2014

Let's stop abusing government this week!

The House of Representatives has officially designated this week as “Stop Government Abuse Week.”  Well, it's about time!  For too long the government has been abused by its citizens who resist its edicts, are not enthusiastic about the government's tax code, and would like to shove Obamacare down the throats of the legislators who pa ...

February 26, 2014

Another arbitration showdown?

Adults have a constitutional right to freely enter into contracts, such as sales or employment contracts where the parties agree to resolve their disputes by arbitration.  The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld this contractual freedom, but the California courts stubbornly refuse to uphold arbitration contracts.  Most recently, the ...

February 26, 2014

PLF notches another ESA delisting

Today, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will finally propose to remove two plant species from the Endangered Species Act's protections, 20 years after originally determining that the Eureka Valley dunegrass and Eureka Valley evening primrose were no longer endangered. Similar to the Service’s recent announcement t ...

February 26, 2014

Cert denied in the moldy washer cases

The Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals twice certified massive classes of consumers in lawsuits claiming that front-loading washing machines sold by Sears and Whirlpool were defectively designed such that some of them developed a "biofilm" that resulted in musty odors.  After the first certification, Sears and Whirlpool filed petitions fo ...