Articles

Whiskey’s for drinking, water rights are for fighting over

August 11, 2021 | By TONY FRANCOIS

 This article is featured in the fall edition of our quarterly magazine Sword&Scales. To read the full edition visit: swordandscales.pacificlegal.org ~~~ Drive east out of Portland, Oregon, on Highway 84 for a few hours and most of the trip you’ll be alongside the Columbia River, where some centuries ago, steely men named Lewis and Clark ...

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What “The Sopranos” can teach us about ridiculous environmental regulations

June 30, 2021 | By TONY FRANCOIS

In this reimagined scene from “The Sopranos” Tony learns about the absurdity behind the the Army’s definition of “Navigable Waters”. Picture, if you will Tony, Paulie, and Christopher in the back room of the Bing, sipping “expressos” and going over Family business. Tony asks about the status of a certain Uk ...

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Orange County Register : Much ADU about nothing

April 12, 2021 | By TONY FRANCOIS

There are only three bad things about Accessory Dwelling Units. The first two are (1) the name, and (2) the acronym. Why does every good normal thing have to be given an anodyne cover name when it gets discussed in public policy? ADU is a code name for in-law apartments, granny flats, over-the-garage apartments, and … ...

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The Hill : Why is Biden’s environmental agenda a government secret?

March 01, 2021 | By TONY FRANCOIS

When President Biden took office a mere 40 days ago with a promise of transparency, accountability and administrative competence, his ascendance was hailed far and wide as a return to “normalcy.” On Inauguration Day, Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured the White House press corps of a return to “trust and transparency” i ...

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The Hill : Communities can force government action to stop out-of-control wildfires

October 14, 2020 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Every year, more of America’s forests burn. For months now, Americans throughout entire time zones have been inundated with ash and smoke from our woodlands, neighbors’ homes and ecosystems that will take years to recover. Yet despite this predictable yearly carnage, the solutions our government can and should immediately take are lost ...

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The Daily Signal : Trump’s new ‘Navigable Waters’ rule is an improvement, but still murky

June 04, 2020 | By TONY FRANCOIS

The Trump administration published this spring its new definition of “navigable waters” (also known as “waters of the United States”) under the Clean Water Act. The long-awaited action reversed course on decades of bureaucratic overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA& ...

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The Hill : Politicians seek relief for renters — but landlords have rights, too

May 12, 2020 | By TONY FRANCOIS

State and local governments have closed businesses across the country in response to COVID-19, putting millions of Americans out of work. Right now, those Americans’ biggest concerns are keeping a roof over their heads and feeding their families. Against that backdrop of economic anxiety, Sen. Barnie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted, “It is time ...

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The Hill : Passive-aggressive EPA places couple in regulatory limbo

April 27, 2020 | By TONY FRANCOIS

If government regulators tell a property owner what they can and can’t do with their land, should the property owner be able to appeal to the courts? Most Americans would instinctively say “yes,” since they grasp the principle that government officials should be held accountable to the people.   Unsurprisingly, many government r ...

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The Hill : The Army Corps of Engineers has become a rogue agency

January 28, 2020 | By TONY FRANCOIS

In World War II, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers played a proud role in the Allied victory over totalitarian aggression in Europe and the Pacific theater by building bridges, clearing beaches and harbors, and creating the conditions for military units to hit fast and hit hard. The Corps’s resourcefulness, creativity and engineering expertise ...