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Month: June 2017

June 30, 2017

The Nation’s WOTUS problem!

In response to the President’s Executive Order directing the EPA to revise the controversial rule redefining “waters of the United States” issued in 2015, EPA proposes to withdraw the rule, codify preexisting rules and guidance, and then issue a new WOTUS rule in keeping with Justice Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos v. United Sta ...

June 30, 2017

A little light reading for your holiday weekend

My colleague Anastasia Boden and I have published several Independence Day themed op-eds to help you get into the proper mood to celebrate the Declaration of Independence. In the Charleston Gazette-Mail, we explain that the Fourth is a perfect time to reflect on how great we have it compared to our Founding Fathers—despite how awful ...

June 30, 2017

Things better than they appear this July 4

If you ask just about anybody — or scroll through Facebook or Twitter — it seems like our society is on the verge of collapse. We're hopelessly divided and face one scandal after another. But the Fourth of July is a good time to remember that things aren't so bad. In fact, they're wonderful. Consider ...

June 29, 2017

California Supreme Court declines to review cap and trade ruling

In a swift move, the California Supreme Court denied review in Morning Star Packing Co. v. California Air Resources Board yesterday. I saw “swift” because we only filed our reply in support of the petition for review on Monday. The justices must have been furiously reading all three replies filed in the case on Monday, ...

June 29, 2017

Murr and more at the Claremont Institute's Supreme Court Round-up

You can catch me here speaking with Professor John Eastman and two other John Marshall Fellows about the Supreme Court’s October 2016 term.  I was a John Marshall Fellow in 2015, and am joined by fellows Michael Huston and Dr. Sohan Dasgupta in discussing PLF’s Murr case, among others, at the Claremont Institute’s Center for ...

June 29, 2017

Three Cheers for the Congressional Review Act

After more than 20 years of dormancy, Congress finally started to use the Congressional Review Act as intended this year — to seriously oversee the federal bureaucracy. So far, this Congress and President Trump have used the CRA to pass 14 laws disapproving regulations issued at the end of the Obama administration, and many more ...

June 28, 2017

Seattle’s ‘democracy vouchers’ violate free speech

Seattle resident Mark Elster, with the help of the Pacific Legal Foundation, is fighting a law in the city of Seattle that forces property owners to pay for the political speech of others. In 2015, voters enacted the nation's first "democracy voucher" program. Every resident in Seattle can receive four $25 vouchers, which can be ...

June 28, 2017

Seattle’s "democracy vouchers" violate the First Amendment

Today, PLF filed a complaint to uphold Seattle property owners' right to free speech. In 2015, Seattle passed Initiative 122 and became the first city to adopt "democracy vouchers." These so-called vouchers compel property owners to contribute to partisan political speech through a dedicated property levy. The stated goal of I-122 is to "ensure th ...

June 28, 2017

The Supreme Court Muddles Up Property Rights

In a confusing decision that's so unworkable that it will surely fail the test of time, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday against the Murr family's quest to receive some recompense for the acre of waterfront land that the County of St. Croix decided to regulate out of existence. Property rights jurisprudence was confused before, now it's ...

June 27, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court rules that some taxpayer funded benefits are available to religious institutions

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a win for the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia.  The question in the case against the State of Missouri, was whether the State violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by refusing to allow the Church to participate in a program offering rubber surfacing material to nonprofit organization ...