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Environmental Law & Property Rights

Justice Scalia's Property Rights Jurisprudence - Event Audio/Video

2016 National Lawyers Convention
John D. Echeverria, James W. Ely, Roderick M. Hills, Adam Laxalt, Ilya Somin, Allison Eid, Jeffrey Bossert Clark November 24, 2016

In his nearly 30 years on the Court, Justice Scalia left a profound mark on many areas of the law, including property rights. From his seminal decisions in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission and Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council to his frequent questioning at oral argument, Justice Scalia helped define the relationship between property and the Constitution. While his critics have suggested that Justice Scalia's property rights jurisprudence manifested a willingness to engage in “judicial activism," others have defended Scalia's approach as consistent with original understandings of the text of the Constitution.

This panel will address Justice Scalia's influence on constitutional understandings of property rights. Professor Ely has written extensively on the historical understandings of property rights including the popular book, The Guardian of Every Other Right: A Constitutional History of Property Rights. Professor Somin's recently published The Grasping Hand: "Kelo V. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain explores one of the Court's most notorious departures from the protection of property rights. Professor Hills is a renowned expert on the law of land use planning and has taken a more charitable view of the power of government to control the use of property. He is a co-author of Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials. The panel will be moderated by Justice Allison Eid, from the Colorado Supreme Court.

Environmental Law & Property Rights: Justice Scalia's Property Rights Jurisprudence
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
East Room

  • Prof. John Echeverria, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
  • Prof. James W. Ely, Jr., Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law Emeritus, Professor of History Emeritus, Lecturer in Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Prof. Roderick M. Hills, Jr., William T. Comfort, III Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Hon. Adam P. Laxalt, Attorney General, Nevada
  • Prof. Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Moderator: Hon. Allison H. Eid, Colorado Supreme Court
  • Introduction: Mr. Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Clean Power Plan Oral Argument Recap - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Elbert Lin October 06, 2016

On Tuesday, September 27, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard en banc West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, the case that will determine the fate of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. If enacted, the Clean Power Plan would set a national limit for carbon emissions, and require each state to reduce its own output and meet state-specific standards. In February, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to stay the Clean Power regulations while the case was pending in the D.C. Court. Twenty-four states, and various energy producers, have joined the suit against the federal government. Does the EPA have the authority to regulate a state’s carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act? Elbert Lin, the Solicitor General of West Virginia, joined us once again to discuss the oral arguments in this very important case.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Elbert Lin, Solicitor General, State of West Virginia

Midnight Monuments: The Antiquities Act and the Executive Authority to Designate National Monuments - Podcast

Environmental Law and Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Donald J. Kochan, Charles Wilkinson September 26, 2016

The Antiquities Act of 1906 provides, in part, that “The President may, in the President's discretion, declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated on land owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments.” 54 U.S.C. §320301(a). Declaring a national monument brings substantial new layers of protected status to the areas or thing so designated, precluding many previously-authorized uses of the area or thing as well. To varying degrees, U.S. Presidents have exercised this authority both during the regular course of their administration and sometimes with heightened vigor at the end, or “midnight hour,” of their final term. Our experts examined the historic use of the Antiquities Act authority and particularly the phenomena of “midnight monument” designations across administrations, including those already completed or anticipated by the now-outgoing Obama Administration. Their analysis included a discussion of the controversial proposal to designate a Bears Ears national monument in Utah in the coming weeks, the historically large expansion in August of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to 582,578 square miles of land and sea, the September 15 designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, and more.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Donald J. Kochan, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Chapman University School of Law
  • Prof. Charles Wilkinson Distinguished Professor, Moses Lasky Professor of Law History and Society in the American West; Indian Law; Public Land Law; Water Law, University of Colorado Law School

The Clean Power Plan Goes to Court - Event Audio/Video

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group
David Bookbinder, David D. Doniger, Scott Pruitt, David B. Rivkin Jr., Adam J. White September 15, 2016

In August 2015 the President announced the Clean Power Plan, characterized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s website as “a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change.” Some six months later, on February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Plan, pending further judicial review. Later this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear en banc argument in that case, West Virginia et al. v. EPA. The suing states and power companies assert that the EPA has overstepped its authority in the Clean Air Act, and have acted beyond the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. Our experts will debate the arguments made in the various briefs and expected at oral argument.

Speakers: 

  • David Bookbinder, Founder, Element VI Consulting
  • David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, Oklahoma
  • David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Moderator: Adam J. White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution

National Press Club
Washington, DC

Clean Power Plan in the Court - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights and Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Groups Podcast
David Bookbinder, David B. Rivkin Jr. September 14, 2016

On September 27, 2016, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in West Virginia, et al. v. EPA, a case testing the constitutionality of the Clean Power Plan. Among two procedural peculiarities (the U.S. Supreme Court has granted a stay in the implementation of the Plan, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has, sua sponte, decided to hear the case en banc without a prior three-judge panel), the case includes myriad federalism and separation of powers issues. Our experts will discuss the primary issues in the case – the balance of power between the federal and state governments, and the separation of powers within the federal government.

Featuring:

  • David Bookbinder, Founding Member, Element VI Consulting
  • David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP