President's weekly report — January 9, 2015

January 09, 2015 | By ROB RIVETT

United States Supreme Court — awaiting orders in three of our cases

We’re hoping for good news on Monday when the Court is set to issue orders in three of our cases: Stewart & Jasper Orchards v. Jewell (whether the biological opinion for the Delta Smelt should consider the economic devastation of Central Valley farmers and farmworkers); Kentner v. City of Sanibel Island (whether property is protected by the Due Process Clause), and Liberty Coins LLC v. Goodman (whether the First Amendment protects the right to advertise your business without a license).

United States Supreme Court — awaiting orders in our amicus cases

We’re also expecting orders in cases where we’ve filed amicus briefs supporting petitions for writ of certiorari:  Iskanian v. CLS Transportation (whether arbitration agreements in workplace disputes should be honored according to federal law) and Horne v. United States (whether raisin marketing orders took Horne’s property when Horne was forced to give up his raisin crop or pay a fine in exchange for the right to sell raisins.)

Firefighters and Discrimination

Oral argument was held before the New York Court of Appeals this week in Margerum v. City of Buffalo.  We had filed this amicus brief arguing that an employer must have, at the time the decision to discriminate is made,  a “strong basis in evidence” that the discriminatory hiring was necessary to avoid disparate impact liability — meaning the liability that can arise if neutral hiring practices have an adverse impact on minority applicants.  As our blog post explains, the desire to limit the City’s financial exposure does not satisfy Supreme Court precedent.

Environment — Oral argument in vehicle rules

Oral argument was held today at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in California Construction Trucking Association v. Environmental Protection Agency and Delta Construction v. Environmental Protection Agency, our challenges to the greenhouse gas regulations imposed on trucks and automobiles.  Before the EPA can issue major new regulations, it is supposed to run those regulations by a Science Advisory Board.  This the EPA did not do.  The court today had plenty of questions, with most focusing on whether it was in a position to redress the alleged injury — a question that goes to the ability to bring the lawsuit in the first place.