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Year: 2018

December 31, 2018

If frozen ground is ‘navigable water,’ Supreme Court should set bureaucrats straight

Originally published by The Hill, December 31, 2018. Richard Schok runs a family pipe fabrication business in North Pole, Alaska, and he wants to move his expanding business to another area in town. What started out as a simple permitting matter turned into a federal case — that is, a case of federal agencies ignoring ...

December 22, 2018

Weekly litigation report — December 22, 2018

PLF asks Supreme Court to hear Alaska permafrost case This week, PLF filed a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to review Tin Cup, LLC v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a case that asks whether the federal government can control land uses on buried frozen permafrost just because the government claims such permafrost is a "navigable ...

December 21, 2018

There’s no evidence that truthful happy hour advertising sends Virginians into a binge fest

We've finally made it to the merits in our happy hour advertising lawsuit against Virginia's absurd censorship regime. It's been a struggle. As I detailed in the Washington Post, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) and the state Attorney General's office have barraged our plaintiffs with onerous and time-consuming discovery requ ...

December 21, 2018

Water rights are property rights too!

Stanford Vina Ranch Irrigation Company is a California non-profit water company that has been lawfully using water from Deer Creek for irrigation since 1862. When drought struck the state in 2014 and again the following year, California's State Water Resources Control Board ordered Stanford Vina to stop using water from Deer Creek or face serious ...

December 20, 2018

Let’s make Tennessee’s protectionist alcohol policies a thing of the past

You've just moved to Tennessee, hoping to realize your entrepreneurial dream of opening your own liquor store. Sorry, but you're out of luck: the Volunteer State refuses to issue a retail liquor permit to anyone who hasn't resided in the state for at least two years. That flies in the face of Constitutional requirement that ...

December 20, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency Is Protecting The Swamp

Originally published in The Daily Caller, December 20, 2018. One of Donald Trump's first presidential actions was telling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise the agency's Obama-era Clean Water Act "navigable waters" definition. It was a welcome reform to a particularly abusive and controversial regulatory overreach. But on December ...

December 19, 2018

Unelected bureaucrats must follow the law, too

Originally published by The Hill, December 19, 2018. One of the first things Americans learn in civics class is that Congress makes laws and the executive branch enforces those laws. Unfortunately, that key constitutional principle has been eroded, with regulatory agencies ignoring congressional commands and instead making their own laws through ad ...

December 18, 2018

PLF urges Supreme Court to keep government hands off the internet in free speech case

If you care about issues like free speech and private property rights, keep an eye on the case of Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Last week, PLF, along with TechFreedom, filed a brief before the Supreme Court in the case, supporting the principle that private property remains private ...

December 18, 2018

New brief: PLF challenges gray wolf ‘endangered’ listing in California

A single sighting of a wolf that had crossed over into California from Oregon—that's all it took for Golden State bureaucrats to declare the gray wolf as a protected species under the state's Endangered Species Act (ESA). That ill-fated decision has significant implications for farmers, ranchers and other property owners in California. Yesterday, ...

December 18, 2018

Is frozen ground a ‘navigable water’? PLF asks Supreme Court to decide

Is permafrost—ground that remains continuously frozen for years on end—a "navigable water"? That's what government regulators who enforce the Clean Water Act want us to believe. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes that permanently frozen ground can be regulated as a "wetland." To most people, that probably sounds like a stretch. ...