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Month: June 2016

June 30, 2016

Recent threats to the First Amendment and short-term rentals

It should come as no surprise that governments struggle to regulate the disruptive nature of the “sharing economy.” Lately, this struggle has resulted in increasingly burdensome regulations on property owners renting their property short-term, and on the websites like Airbnb and VRBO that provide a platform to list those properties for ...

June 30, 2016

Paradise Lost: A Family’s U.S. Supreme Court Property Fight

Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the Murr family of Wisconsin at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Murrs own a modest cabin on the St. Croix River in Wisconsin that they use as a gathering place and retreat for their family. The Murrs bought the land back in the ’60s as two separate lots, one to ...

June 30, 2016

California Supreme Court will review controversial tax decision

Last month, Pacific Legal Foundation filed a letter brief urging the California Supreme Court to review a decision denying taxpayers the right to vote on taxes imposed by initiative. Yesterday, the Court agreed to review the decision in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland. The question before the Court is as follows:  Can the proponen ...

June 30, 2016

Duarte Nursery seeks immediate appeals in Clean Water Act case

Following the trial court’s remarkable June 10 ruling that plowing violates the Clean Water Act, despite clear regulatory provisions to the contrary (see 33 CFR 324.4(a)(1)(iii)(D)), Duarte Nursery has moved for reconsideration or certification for immediate appeal on several Clean Water Act issues. We expect a decision from the court any d ...

June 30, 2016

Loss in gopher frog critical habitat challenge

This morning, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an adverse split decision in Markle Interests v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  The case concerns a challenge to the Service’s designation of our client’s property as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog.  What makes the Fish and Wildlife Service’s actions here a ...

June 30, 2016

The Slants in the Supreme Court

As we noted earlier this year, The Slants–an Oregon rock band comprised of frontman, Simon Tam, and other Asian-American band members–was denied a trademark on the band name because the United States Patent and Trademark Office decided the name was disparaging toward people of Asian descent. In response, Mr. Tam sued and won before an ...

June 29, 2016

Major Property Rights Battle Continues In Palo Alto

PLF Director of Communications Harold Johnson interviews PLF attorney and Director of the Liberty Clinic project, Larry Salzman, about their case titled Jisser v. City of Palo Alto. The Jisser family would like to get out of the mobile home park business in Palo Alto as they look forward to retirement, but the City demands ...

June 29, 2016

The Ohio Legislature is dazed and confused about equal protection

Earlier this month, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Ohio HB523, a bill legalizing medical uses of cannabis in the state. Like every other state to liberalize its regulation of marijuana, Ohio will strictly regulate all new businesses participating in the industry, whether they grow, test, or sell cannabis products at retail. Getting a license to ...

June 27, 2016

"Ban the box" laws and disparate impact liability

Pacific Legal Foundation opposes disparate impact, a form of liability that brands an act (e.g. an employer’s hiring practice) as discriminatory just because it does not produce the “right” racial result. There are many objections to disparate impact liability, but chief among these is that such liability leads to disparate treat ...

June 27, 2016

Dismissal—and appeal—of Palo Alto mobile home case

On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California handed down a first-round defeat to the Jisser family, dismissing their property rights lawsuit. Blog readers will recall that PLF represents the Jissers in their case to block the City of Palo's extortionate demand that the family pay roughly $8 million dollars in ...