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Month: February 2016

February 29, 2016

California Department of Education effectively repeals "parent trigger" law for 2015

Recognizing the need to give parents more control over improving their children’s schools, the California Legislature passed–and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed–the Parent Empowerment Act, also known as the “Parent Trigger,” in 2010. The first such law in existence, the Act provides a mechanism for parents to force c ...

February 29, 2016

When can public money go to religious institutions?

The Supreme Court has two opportunities to answer questions about when taxpayer dollars can go to religious institutions.  The Court has already agreed to review an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley.  Trinity Church operates a daycare facility, which includes a playground used by students an ...

February 29, 2016

SCOTUS confirmation games: Playing the race card, with an empty recess appointment threat

President Obama has promised to nominate someone relatively soon for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court made vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia's passing. President Obama hopes either to weaken the Senate majority's resolve, which is to let the American voters decide who shall fill the vacancy, or to play politics with the issue. Alas, ...

February 29, 2016

President's weekly report, February 26, 2016

Endangered species — holding California to the law We filed this petition this week against the California Department of Fish & Game, demanding that the agency reviews it decisions to list various species under the state’s endangered species act. The law is simple: Like its federal counterpart the agency must examine species every f ...

February 29, 2016

Supreme Court declines to answer important economic liberty question

Today, the United States Supreme Court denied review in Sensational Smiles, LLC. v. Mullen. PLF, with the Cato Institute, filed a brief asking the Court to take up the case. As a result, the question remains open as to whether protecting favored groups from economic competition is a legitimate government interest, and constitutional. The case inv ...

February 29, 2016

PLF's Shauneen Werlinger to participate in Hawkes discussion at Cato Institute on March 14

On Monday, March 14th, I will be participating in a discussion hosted by Cato Institute entitled "Do Landowners Have a Right to Challenge Federal Regulation of Their Property? A Preview of Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes on the Eve of Oral Argument."  Professor Steven Eagle of George Mason University School of Law and Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fe ...

February 29, 2016

Supreme Court denies review of San Jose affordable housing case

This morning, the Supreme Court denied review in the legislative exactions case, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose (more about the case here). Although the decision ends the Association's facial challenge to a city ordinance requiring new developers to build and dedicated new houses as affordable housing (or pay a signifi ...

February 29, 2016

Certiorari denied in American Farm Bureau v. EPA

American Farm Bureau v. EPA (15-599), a petition for certiorari which PLF supported as amicus curiae, was denied this morning.  The denial leaves the Third Circuit opinion in place, an opinion which stands as a shining example of judicial abdication via Chevron. The Third Circuit accepted, for example, EPA's reading of the word "total" as ...

February 26, 2016

US Senator Grassley speaks on PLF client John Duarte's fight with federal wetland enforcers

Yesterday, February 25, United States Senator Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa) took to the floor of the Senate Chamber to inform his colleagues about PLF client John Duarte’s ongoing battle against the Army Corps of Engineers over federal claims that Duarte Nursery needed an expensive and onerous federal permit simply to plow its fields. Senat ...

February 25, 2016

Manatee count shows population continues to grow

The manatee population continues to grow in Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's newest survey results. Each winter, when weather conditions permit, the FWC conducts an aerial survey with a team of observers who fly around the state's warmer waters where manatees typically congregate. Last year, the FWC counted a record- ...

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