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Month: May 2014

May 30, 2014

PLF files amicus brief in support of water rights

Last year we reported that the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau successfully sued the California Department of Fish and Wildlife over whether the Department has the authority to limit the use of water rights.  The Department subsequently appealed the decision, and today PLF filed this amicus brief, along with the California Cattlemen’s Associati ...

May 30, 2014

Will the Florida Supreme Court rewrite the law, or leave that job to the legislature?

An Automatic External Defribrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and Florida law, like many states, mandates that public schools have them on site to treat individuals suffering ...

May 30, 2014

Coastal Commission bill garners criticism

Last year the California Coastal Commission suffered a major legislative defeat when AB 976—which would have given the Commission broad authority to levy administrative penalties without having first to go to court to prove a violation—failed to pass.  We’ve also reported on this blog that the bill is redivivus, in somewhat less ...

May 29, 2014

Due process does not end with class action certification

Today, in Duran v. U.S. National Bank, the California Supreme Court issued a ringing endorsement of the due process right to mount a defense in a class action lawsuit.  The case involved a wage and hour class action under California's Unfair Competition Law on behalf of 260 "business banking officers" (BBOs) who claimed U.S. Bank ...

May 29, 2014

More EPA hokum

Hokum: (1) a device used (as by showmen) to evoke a desired audience response; (2) untrue words or ideas; (3) pretentious nonsense. We demonstrated in an earlier post how disingenuous the EPA Administrator was in claiming the EPA's expansive new rule defining “waters of the United States” would “increase clarity, save us time, kee ...

May 29, 2014

Groundwater and the public trust doctrine, continued

Earlier this month, the Sacramento Superior Court held a hearing in Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board, in which the environmentalist plaintiffs are seeking an expansion of the public trust doctrine to groundwater extraction that negatively affects navigable waters.  We filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Califo ...

May 27, 2014

D.C. Circuit upholds EPA's refusal to regulate acid rain arbitrarily

Recently, EPA attempted to update its decades-old standard for regulating sulfur and nitrogen oxides — components of acid rain — under the Clean Air Act. The agency and the environmental groups pushing for an update agreed that the old standard was inadequate because it considered only a fraction of these pollutants’ impacts. Yet, ...

May 27, 2014

CARB adopts amendments to AB 32's scoping plan

It was only a matter of time. On the heels of the Cap-and Trade Regulation, on May 22, 2014, the California Air Resources Board adopted a regulatory plan that is so severe and so inimical to the interests of the state that it almost defies description.  Officially refered to as the First Update of the AB 32 Scoping Plan, the new ...

May 23, 2014

What's a Public Use? A soccer stadium? A casino?

Two cases in the news this week made me wonder if I read the Fifth Amendment differently than the rest of the country. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” There are any number of interesting questions raised by that language, but I want ...

May 23, 2014

May 23 High Speed Rail court hearing

There was tough questioning from the bench today at the state appellate court hearing in Sacramento on key challenges to the controversial way the California High Speed Rail project is being pursued. Nevertheless, the arguments in support of the challenges – and against the government's attempt to operate the project without rigorous oversight ...