Public Trust Doctrine

News & Analysis as of

The Atmosphere Is a Public Trust. So What?

The last frontier of citizen climate litigation has been state-based litigation alleging that states have a public trust obligation to mitigate climate change. As I have previously noted, I’m skeptical that these cases are...more

Alaska Supreme Court Opens the Door for Alternative Theory in Public Trust Litigation

As this blog has discussed on several prior occasions, Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon public interest group, has coordinated lawsuits in numerous states seeking to apply the public trust doctrine to the atmosphere. While...more

First District Court of Appeal Holds State Water Board May Restrict Beneficial Water Use by Senior Water Rights Holders, Relying...

Most Californians are well aware of the restrictions currently being placed on water use throughout the state. The ongoing drought and dwindling water supplies in California are dramatically affecting those with rights to...more

Kids Get Their Day in Court on Climate Change

On June 11, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that two teens are entitled to a judicial declaration of whether there exists a “public trust” obligation in state officials to “protect the State’s atmosphere as well as the...more

EPA May Be Regulating GHGs, But Private Litigation Still Looks to be On Shaky Ground

In a case of interesting timing, three days after EPA announced its proposed GHG rules for existing facilities, the D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal of a case seeking an injunction against EPA and other federal defendants...more

Public Trust Act Preserves Candidate Choices

Political communications are like trees in a forest. Blessed with monetary sunshine political communications reach toward the sky, dominate the horizon, and potentially drench competitors in shade. Legal limits on financial...more

Public Trust Act – A Public Financing Trial and Tribulation

The NY State Legislature and Governor Cuomo enacted a new State budget on April 1, and with it, enabling legislation that includes changes in NY’s campaign finance law. In addition to new independent expenditure disclosure...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider: Shifting Sands – A historical perspective behind the law of Kennebunkport’s Goose Rocks Beach case

You may not have thought it was possible, but Maine’s iconic coastline has become even more interesting, at least at Goose Rocks Beach in the Town of Kennebunkport. Residents and visitors alike are dealing with the aftermath...more

Climate Change Legal Theories: The Atmospheric Public Trust Doctrine Moves Another Step Forward

One of the shibboleths of those following climate change litigation is the idea that new legal theories will be surfaced, fired in the furnace of litigation and then forged as the vehicle for addressing climate change in the...more

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