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Read Constitutional Law updates, alerts, news, and analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

State Programs to Encourage Zero-Emitting Generation Are Constitutional

Late last month, the 2nd Circuit Court of appeals rejected a challenge to Connecticut laws intended to encourage use of renewable energy. Earlier this month, Judge Manish Shah, of the Northern District of Illinois, issued a...more

Standing Against Environmental Injustice: Some Thoughts On Facing The Need For CEQA Litigation Reform

by Miller Starr Regalia on

CEQA, our state’s landmark environmental protection act, is a venerable law with an illustrious history now spanning over 45 years. But it’s also being abused every day, distorted for non-environmental ends not worthy of it...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Extends Its Landmark Robinson Township Decision in Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v....

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The "Environmental Bill of Rights" is now indisputably the law of the land in Pennsylvania. A majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed and extended its landmark decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, 83...more

PA Supreme Court Restricts General Assembly’s Right to Spend Oil & Gas Royalty Money

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court continues to expand the reach of the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state Constitution. Adopted in 1971, the Environmental Rights Amendment recognizes that the people have a right to...more

The D.C. Circuit shows the way through the red tape in pipeline permitting dispute

by Hogan Lovells on

On June 23, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that Millennium Pipeline Company LLC lacked standing to bring a claim against the New York State Department of Environmental...more

North Carolina Legislative Update - June, 2017 #5

by Brooks Pierce on

This week the General Assembly worked through the final bills of the session as the chambers prepared for adjournment of the 2017 long session....more

Ninth Circuit Requires Evidence of No Injury, Recognizes Forfeiture of Pre-1919 Arizona Water Rights

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A recent ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals underscores the importance of beneficially using water, as currently recognized in California, to maintain state water rights. On June 13, a three-judge panel...more

State Attorneys General Warn the EPA of Legal Action Should Obama-Era Fuel Economy Standards Get Rolled Back

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

Even as the Trump administration is calling into question whether it will remain committed to Obama-era fuel economy and emissions targets, state governments are stepping up to enforce those same targets....more

NC Legislative Update: June 2017 #2

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

This Week - On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court opinion that 28 NCGA legislative House and Senate districts relied too heavily on race, and remanded the matter to the lower court. Although the...more

Life, Liberty, and…IPRs? SCOTUS to Weigh in on Constitutionality of Inter Partes Review Proceedings

by Bryan Cave on

Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group, No. 16-712 (June 12, 2017), to decide whether post-grant proceedings created under the America Invents Act (“AIA”) are...more

EPA Reconsidering Obama-Era Water Quality Standards It Set for Maine

by PretiFlaherty on

On May 12, 2017, Maine’s U.S. District Court granted a request by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for a 90-day stay in a suit by the State of Maine challenging EPA’s efforts to impose stricter water quality...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

Stability For Calif. Cap-And-Trade Program, For Now

The future of California’s cap-and-trade program looks a little brighter, thanks to a 2-1 vote of the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District on April 6. The decision, which held that the cap-and-trade program is...more

Challenge to California's Cap-and-Trade Emission Allowances Auction Rejected on Appeal

by Jones Day on

On April 6, 2017, the California Court of Appeal, in a 2–1 decision, upheld the sale of greenhouse gas ("GHG") emission allowances in California's cap-and-trade program. California Chamber of Commerce v. State Air Resources...more

Court Rules Forest Products Industry Group Has Standing to Challenge Critical Habitat Designation

by Perkins Coie on

A forest products trade association has standing to challenge the critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in Carpenters Industrial Council...more

Downstream drama: Iowa utility can’t recover damages from county drainage districts

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

The complex issues affecting agriculture and related industries came into sharp focus recently with an Iowa Supreme Court decision that considered whether one government entity can sue another for damages related to water...more

School Districts not Exempt from Paying Assessments to Fund Flood Control Services - California Appellate Court Finds...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

An assessment to fund flood control and drainage services imposed by a county reclamation district on a school district was upheld Friday by a California appellate court. The court found that the trial court erred in...more

McDonalds Won’t Be Serving Utah Prairie Dog Burgers Any Time Soon

On Wednesday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held that regulation of takes of the Utah prairie dog, a purely intrastate species, does not violate the Constitution. Reversing the decision below, the 10th Circuit joined all...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Special Rule Regulating Take of Utah Prairie Dog

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the take of the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens).  Because Congress has this...more

Public Trust Doctrine & Water Rights - The Walker Case: Does the Public Trust Doctrine Apply to Water Rights Established in...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A case currently pending in the Ninth Circuit raises a significant and novel issue of western water law. The case addresses whether the public trust doctrine can authorize modification of a water rights decree and...more

President Trump Curbs Controversial WOTUS Rule

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

Two days ago, President Trump issued an executive order (Order) that will scale back the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) hotly contested “waters of the United States”...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Injury from Future Water Rights Restrictions Too Speculative for Article III Standing

by Nossaman LLP on

On February 21, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District (collectively, “Water Contractors”) lacked Article III standing to...more

Cap and Trade Auction Credits: Taxes, Regulatory Fees or “Something Else”? California Third District Court of Appeal Hears...

by Nossaman LLP on

A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal for the Third District heard oral argument last week in the longstanding companion cases challenging the legality of AB 32’s cap and trade auctions. California Chamber of...more

Oregon Federal Court Issues Remarkable Decision Finding Constitutional Right to Stable Climate

by Liskow & Lewis on

On November 10, 2016, a federal district judge in Oregon issued a remarkable decision in which she found that a climate system “capable of sustaining human life” is a fundamental constitutional right. Juliana v. United States...more

To Practice “Environmentalism” Is Not A “Religious” Right

Something light for your Monday morning. On January 23, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma issued a ruling dismissing the plaintiff’s pro se complaint that the recycling practices of the Tulsa...more

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