In Atlantic Richfield Company v. Christian, the Supreme Court will decide whether landowners can sue the owner of a copper smelter that dumped tons of toxic pollutants on their property. If they can sue, as the Montana Supreme Court held, private property rights will remain one of the most important tools for protecting the environment. If they can’t, as the company and the federal government argue, unelected bureaucrats and polluters will be able to freely bargain away the property rights of innocent landowners, to the detriment of both property rights and the environment.
In our friend-of-the-court brief, PLF and the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) argue that the Supreme Court should affirm the Montana Supreme Court’s decision and hold that federal law does not prevent landowners from suing polluters for money to correct environmental damage to their property.
PLF regularly participates as amicus curiae, or friend of the court, in cases brought by others. This supplements our direct representation cases by providing judges with unique, strategic, and helpful arguments to consider when crafting their opinions in related cases