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Month: August 2018

August 31, 2018

Investor’s Business Daily: Taming The Regulatory State: It’s A Constitutional Imperative

Originally published by Investor’s Business Daily August 31, 2018. According to one Mercatus Center study, each of us must obey over 1 million regulatory dictates, vastly more than the statutes written by our elected lawmakers in Congress. But the sheer number is not the only, or even the worst, problem. The more troubling issue is the ...

August 30, 2018

Briefing nearing completion in gnatcatcher challenge

This week we filed our final trial court brief in our challenge to the Endangered Species Act listing of the coastal California gnatcatcher. We argue that the gnatcatcher should not be listed as a distinct “subspecies.” The Service and the environmental intervenors contend that the listing should be upheld because the Service used the b ...

August 29, 2018

California Court of Appeal imposes public trust obligations on groundwater well permits

This morning a California Court of Appeal issued an unfortunate opinion (although given the state of California courts, perhaps an unsurprising one) affirming in full a trial court decision that imposed public trust obligations on the County of Siskiyou’s issuance of groundwater well permits. The decision could have a significant negative imp ...

August 27, 2018

Supreme Court reconsiders rule that gave prisoners better access to federal courts than property owners

When government violates constitutional rights, most people assume they can seek justice in federal courts. Usually that assumption is correct. For instance, if your local city unconstitutionally censors your speech, you can go to federal court and sue. The same rule applies when government violates nearly any constitutional right. But when it come ...

August 27, 2018

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Should Follow the Law

The Service claims it is exempt from Regulatory Flexibility Act requirements because critical habitat designations impact only other federal agencies. But this claim is in error. While critical habitat designations do require federal agencies to manage critical habitat, the restrictions of the designations also directly affect small businesses, ma ...

August 27, 2018

Courts must look behind California’s pretenses when the state channels money to union advocacy

In the aftermath of Janus v. AFSCME, states have come up with some pretty clever ways to funnel money to unions and union-supported speech.  Today, PLF asked the Ninth Circuit to strike down SB 954, a law that gives unions a huge fundraising advantage and makes it harder for contrary viewpoints to be heard. ...

August 25, 2018

Weekly litigation update — August 25, 2018

Reply brief filed in Knick PLF attorneys filed this reply brief in Knick v. Scott Township, our case challenging the bizarre Supreme Court rule that prevents property owners from bringing federal takings claims in federal court. Mrs. Knick simply wants to keep members of the public from traisping on her property. The town passed an ordinance ...

August 22, 2018

California Legislature finally gets something right

According to the English political philosopher John Locke, “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.” And while we may know and accept Locke’s truthful observation intuitively, actual political institutions all too often fall short of this ideal. Especially in “The People’s Rep ...

August 21, 2018

PLF mourns the passing of trustee Dixon Montague

PLF trustee Harold Dixon Montague passed away on Sunday, August 19, after a long battle with cancer. Dixon was a distinguished attorney who fought for the rights of property owners in eminent domain and regulatory takings cases. After graduating with a BA from Tulane University in 1974 and with a JD from The University of ...

August 21, 2018

A socialist visits a Texas grocery store

Originally published by The Hill, August 21, 2018. A recent poll finding that Democrats prefer socialism to capitalism should remind us of something Ronald Reagan once said: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." When today's headlines regularly include stories about Venezuela experiencing an economic collapse less than 2 ...