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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

Sturgeon v. Frost - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 6-2-16 featuring Gale Norton
Gale Norton June 02, 2016

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Sturgeon v. Frost. Sturgeon challenged a National Park Service (NPS) ban on the operation of hovercraft on the National River, part of which falls within the Yukon-Charley River National Preserve. The State of Alaska then intervened, challenging NPS’s authority to require its researchers to obtain a permit before engaging in studies of chum and sockeye salmon on the Alagnak River, part of which falls within the boundaries of the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Sturgeon and Alaska contended that the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) precludes NPS from regulating activities on state-owned lands and navigable waters that fall within the boundaries of National Park System units in Alaska. The district court ruled in favor of the federal government, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that judgment as to Sturgeon but ordered that Alaska’s case be dismissed for lack of standing. The question before the Supreme Court was whether ANILCA prohibits the National Park Service from exercising regulatory control over state, native corporation, and private Alaska land physically located within the boundaries of the National Park System.

By a vote of 8-0, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court, rejecting the Ninth Circuit’s reading of ANILCA. Taken as whole, the Court indicated, ANILCA “contemplates the possibility that all the land within the boundaries of conservation system units in Alaska may be treated differently from federally managed preservation areas across the country, and that ‘non-public’ lands within the boundaries of those units may be treated differently from ‘public’ lands within the unit.”

To discuss the case, we have the Honorable Gale Norton, who served as the 48th U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Federalism, the Environment, Land Use, and Energy Independence - Event Audio/Video

2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference
Anthony L. François, Richard Frank, Donald J. Kochan, Justin Pidot, Milan D. Smith, Jennifer Perkins February 17, 2016

Some states have criticized Washington overreach on a number of energy and environmental issues, from fracking, the sale of public lands, utility regulation, and clean air and water regulation. Many state attorneys general have banded together to challenge alleged overreach in the environmental arena, including litigation against the EPA’s coal-fired power plant regulation plans. What are the proper federalism models for environmental regulation? What role should the courts and state attorneys general play? A panel of experts will discuss.

This panel was part of the 2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on January 30, 2016.

Federalism, the Environment, Land Use, and Energy Independence

  • Mr. Anthony L. (Tony) François, Senior Staff Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Prof. Richard Frank, Director, California Environmental Law and Policy Center, UC Davis School of Law
  • Prof. Donald J. Kochan, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development; Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
  • Prof. Justin Pidot, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver
  • Moderator: Hon. Milan D. Smith, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th  Circuit
  • Introduction: Ms. Jennifer Perkins, Assistant Solicitor General, AG Opinions and Ethics at Arizona Attorney General's Office

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Sturgeon v. Frost - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-17-16 featuring Gale Norton
Gale Norton February 17, 2016

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sturgeon v. Frost. Sturgeon challenged a National Park Service (NPS) ban on the operation of hovercraft on the National River, part of which falls within the Yukon-Charley River National Preserve. The State of Alaska then intervened, challenging NPS’s authority to require its researchers to obtain a permit before engaging in studies of chum and sockeye salmon on the Alagnak River, part of which falls within the boundaries of the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Sturgeon and Alaska contended that the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) precludes NPS from regulating activities on state-owned lands and navigable waters that fall within the boundaries of National Park System units in Alaska. The district court ruled in favor of the federal government, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed that judgment as to Sturgeon but ordered that Alaska’s case be dismissed for lack of standing.

The question before the Court is whether ANILCA prohibits the National Park Service from exercising regulatory control over state, native corporation, and private Alaska land physically located within the boundaries of the National Park System.

To discuss the case, we have Gale Norton, who served as the 48th U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Public Land Controversy: The States v. The Federal Government - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights and Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Groups Podcast
Donald J. Kochan, David Garbett June 25, 2014

public lands mapControversies over jurisdiction and management of public lands are building. Whether grazing rights disputes in Nevada or New Mexico, alarm over federal disinterest in long recognized local partnerships for management of multi-use lands, BLM review of millions of acres to balance factors like environmental justice, and complaints of forest maintenance hazards, states are increasingly concerned. Western states contend that return of public lands to state control would generate a North Dakota-like renaissance of jobs, access to resources, and economic activity. Several Western states are investigating the legal basis for challenging federal retention of these public multi-use lands as described in state charter enabling acts. The state of Utah now has statutory authority to sue the federal government for return of its lands in January, 2015. How sound is the legal case, and what are the economic implications for the Western states -- as well as the country in general? What are the environmental policy issues and is state stewardship of these lands best?

  • Hon. Ken Ivory, State Representative, Utah House of Representatives
  • Prof. Donald J. Kochan, Professor of Law, Chapman University School of Law
  • Carl Graham, Director, Center for Self-Government in the West, Sutherland Institute
  • David Garbett, Staff Counsel, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance