President's weekly report — March 4, 2016

March 04, 2016 | By ROB RIVETT

Hawkes: 16 – 0

We received sixteen briefs in support of our client, the Hawkes Company, and none in support of the government in Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes. From 29 states to farmers and think tanks, there is widespread support for our clients. The amicus briefs agree with us that federal law gives landowners the right to sue the government when the government issues a wetlands “jurisdictional determination.” For more on this, and links to the amicus briefs, see our blog post here.

Coastal Land Rights

We filed this Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in Beach & Bluff Conservancy v. City of Solana Beach. This case involves the Commission’s thus-far successful attempt to force Solana Beach to adopt a local coastal plan that severely restricts the right of landowners to protect their homes from coastal erosion. Because this violates the fundamental right of homeowners to protect their homes, the demand violates the Constitution and state law.

Supreme Court declines two cases

The Supreme Court declined to take up two cases this week: Building Industry Association of San Jose v. City of San Jose and Sensational Smiles v. Mullen. The San Jose case was our challenge to the City’s mandatory affordable housing mandates. While the Court denied review, Justice Thomas did write separately to say that the Court really should look at these sort of demands in a future case. We’ll be working to develop another case for the Court to look at.

The Sensational Smiles case involved a state regulation that prohibited nondentists from selling teeth-whitening services. The state did not justify the regulation with any kind of health or safety rationale, saying only it could affect the business of licensed dentists — an insufficient reason under the Constitution. For our amicus brief, see our blog post here.