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Month: September 2018

September 30, 2018

The Wall Street Journal: The Feds Bungle Frog Hospitality

Originally published by The Wall Street Journal September 30, 2018. When startled, the dusky gopher frog covers its eyes, looks out, and covers its eyes again, as if playing peekaboo. This shy frog would seem an unlikely candidate to draw the attention of the Supreme Court. Yet the dusty gopher frog is the star of ...

September 29, 2018

Weekly litigation update — September 29, 2018

PLF attorney gives congressional testimony on ESA reform This week, PLF attorney Jonathan Wood testified before the House Natural Resource Committee, urging Congress to improve the Endangered Species Act to reduce unnecessary conflict and provide better incentives to restore habitat and recover species. Based on Jonathan's testimony, Congressman We ...

September 28, 2018

Seattle can’t ban criminal background checks

Does a landlord have a constitutional right to ask about someone’s criminal background before renting to them? Today, PLF filed a brief in Yim v. City of Seattle unveiling the (obvious) answer: Yes! Seattle’s “Fair Chance Housing Ordinance” forbids inquiries into a rental applicant’s criminal history. And just in ca ...

September 27, 2018

At Gerawan Farming, UFW Finally Gets the Boot

After five long years, the ballots from a 2013 election on whether to oust the United Farm Workers union (UFW) from Gerawan Farming, Inc. have finally been counted. The outcome was brutally clear: UFW lost the election 1,098 to 197, a margin of 5:1. UFW came to Gerawan Farming in 1990, but almost immediately abandoned ...

September 24, 2018

The Hill: Proposed changes will help recover endangered species

Originally published by The Hill, September 24, 2018. For the past 45 years, the Endangered Species Act has been America's most popular environmental law. In at least one critical respect, that popularity is well deserved: less than 1 percent of species protected by the Endangered Species Act have gone extinct. However, it also has fallen ...

September 21, 2018

Weekly litigation update — September 22, 2018

Ninth Circuit holds that permafrost is a navigable water Today the Ninth Circuit in this opinion ruled against our clients in Tin Cup LLC v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Tin Cup, a family owned pipe fabrication business in North Pole, Alaska, sought to expand and relocate its business. The Army Corps of Engineers claimed jurisdiction ...

September 21, 2018

Investor’s Business Daily: Rule Makers Must Follow The Rules, Too

Originally published by Investor’s Business Daily September 21, 2018. Bureaucrats are notorious sticklers. Nothing makes them cranky like when someone breaks a rule or fails to fill out paperwork (in triplicate) to their satisfaction. So you might expect government bureaucrats to be meticulous when it comes to following the rules themselves. ...

September 19, 2018

Here come the California speech police

While the United States has much to thank Great Britain for, including our common law system and our preference for coffee over tea, when it comes to modern politics the ideals of certain segments of the British Parliament have been in direct conflict with the foundational ideals of America. Especially when it comes to free ...

September 19, 2018

Investor’s Business Daily: Only Strong Judicial Review Can Restore Separation Of Powers

Originally published by Investor Business Daily September 19, 2018. We all expect “our day in court” before the government takes our money or restricts our freedom. Even for a parking ticket, we expect the chance to “tell it to the judge” before paying the fine. We expect that judges will hold the police to the ...

September 19, 2018

Do agency proceedings strip us of our constitutional rights?

The tendency for courts to broadly defer to agency decisions frustrates the judiciary's core function as the adjudicative branch of government. Such deference also frustrates individual rights by sweeping constitutional guarantees under the rug. Take, for example, Washington State's Growth Management Hearing Board. The legislature created the agenc ...