June 2, 2016

President's weekly report — June 3, 2016

By John M. Groen Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Supreme Court Victory!

The Supreme Court gave Pacific Legal Foundation a resounding victory on Monday in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes. The unanimous Court held that a Corps of Engineers’ Jurisdictional Determination (i.e. wetlands delineation) is immediately reviewable in court and subject to challenge. For the first time since the inception of the Clean Water Act (1972), overzealous government bureaucrats can be held immediately accountable in court for their erroneous assertions of federal control over private wetlands and other waters. This levels the playing field for landowners who have been at the mercy of overreaching government for far too long. Reed Hopper explains more here.

Individual Rights: Challenging Compulsory Mediation

On May 16, PLF filed an amicus brief in Gerawan Farming, Inc. v. ALRB on behalf of a coalition of property rights and agricultural associations supporting Gerawan’s challenge to California’s Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation Process. As Damien Schiff explains, our brief argues that the Process, which compels agricultural employers to accept the terms of a collective bargaining “agreement” drafted by a “mediator,” violates equal protection and the non-delegation doctrine.

Environmental Law: Local Government Cannot Avoid CEQA Requirements

PLF attorney Jonathan Wood argued before the California Court of Appeal on Tuesday on behalf of the non-profit group, Bay Area Citizens, in a lawsuit against the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). As noted in greater detail here, agencies comprising ABAG imposed a draconian development plan and rail expansion for the San Francisco Bay Area, purportedly to address greenhouse gas emissions, without addressing the environmental impacts or public opposition. A decision is expected in 90 days.

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