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Environmental Law & Property Rights

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Subcommittees

  • Air Quality
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Enforcement & Compliance
  • Hazardous Waste & Toxic Tort
  • Land Use
  • Water Quality
  • Wetlands & Endangered Species

2017 National Lawyers Convention

November 16, 2017

The 2017 National Lawyers Convention is scheduled for Thursday, November 16 through Saturday, November 18 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. More information will be posted later this summer.

Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective by Professor Ilya Somin, et al.

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
Richard A. Epstein, Ilya Somin July 14, 2017

The taking of private property for development projects has caused controversy in many nations, where it has often been used to benefit powerful interests at the expense of the general public. In their recent book, Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press), editors Ilya Somin, Iljoong Kim,and Hojun Lee use a common framework to analyze the law and economics of eminent domain around the world. They show that seemingly disparate nations face a common set of problems in seeking to regulate the condemnation of private property by the state. They include the tendency to forcibly displace the poor and politically weak for the benefit of those with greater influence, disputes over compensation, and resort to condemnation in cases where it destroys more economic value than it creates. With contributions from leading scholars in the fields of property law and economics, the book offers a comparative perspective and considers a wide range of possible solutions to these problems. Professor Richard Epstein and Professor Ilya Somin will join us to discuss this interesting book.

Featuring:

  • Professor Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

  • Professor Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Improving the Use of Science in Regulation

Administrative Law & Regulation and Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
Susan E. Dudley June 29, 2017

Regulations intended to address public health and environmental risks depend heavily on scientific information. Yet, they are often the subject of heated debate, involving accusations of “politicized science,” “advocacy science,” and “junk science.” Susan Dudley will discuss her forthcoming paper with Marcus Peacock that explores the motivations and institutional incentives that have led to this acrimony. The paper illustrates the problem with a case study of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards issued under the Clean Air Act, and offers recommendations for improving how science is used to inform regulatory policy.

Featuring: 

  • Hon. Susan E. Dudley, Director, Regulatory Studies Center and Distinguished Professor of Practice, The George Washington University

Courthouse Steps: Murr v. Wisconsin Decided

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
James S. Burling June 28, 2017

On June 23, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Murr v. Wisconsin. This is a regulatory takings case which addressed the question: should two legally distinct but commonly owned contiguous parcels be combined, as described in Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, for takings analysis purposes?

In 1960 and 1963, the Murrs purchased two adjacent lots in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, each over an acre in size. In 1994 and 1995, the parents transferred the parcels to their children. These lots became nonconforming due to various setbacks imposed in the 1970s, but a grandfathering provision would have allowed independent and separate uses – but only if the lots were not owned by the same individuals.  Seven years later, the children wanted to sell one of the two original lots and were denied permission to do so by the St. Croix County Board of Adjustment. The Murrs sued the state and county and claimed the county’s actions resulted in an uncompensated taking of their property. The trial court granted summary judgement to the state and county and the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin affirmed.

James Burling, Vice President of Litigation at the Pacific Legal Foundation, will join us to discuss this interesting case and offer his thoughts following the decision. 

Featuring:

  • James S. Burling, Vice President of Litigation, Pacific Legal Foundation

Undermining Voluntary Property Arrangements

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein June 25, 2017

Should the government be involved in property arrangements between private individuals?  In this episode, a continuation of a discussion of core principles of Property Law, Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law discusses rent control laws and how to optimize leasing arrangements between parties.
 
Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.
 
Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Capture and Dealing with Common Property

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein June 25, 2017

What rules govern the acquisition and use of property?  In the third installment of Introduction to Common Law, Prof. Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law describes how the rules of property acquisition vary depending on the type of asset and explains the problem of the tragedy of the commons.
 
Prof. Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.
 
Prof. Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Public v. Private Property

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein June 17, 2017

What is the relationship between public and private property? In this episode, the second in a series on the Common Law, Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law describes how putting resources to their highest value use enables us to determine which resources should be held privately, as opposed to used by the public in common.
 
Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.
 
Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

What Is Property?

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein June 17, 2017

What is the basis of property rights? In the inaugural episode of our series on Common Law, Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law lays out a few simple principles that govern the acquisition and use of property. 
 
Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.
 
Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

What is a Regulatory Taking?

Short video featuring Eric Claeys
Eric R. Claeys May 23, 2017

How does the Takings Clause apply to regulations? Prof. Eric Claeys, Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, gives an overview of the Takings Clause and explains how it applies to disputes between property owners and regulators imposing scenic or aesthetic restrictions on property use.

Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference

The Relationship between Congress and the Executive Branch
May 17, 2017

The Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference will examine the changing and often convoluted relationship between the legislative and the executive branches in the United States government. This daylong conference will feature plenary panels, addresses, and breakout panels on topics such as “The Unitary Executive,” “Chevron Deference,” and “Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights.”

The Conference will begin with an opening address by Senator Mike Lee and end with a closing address by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and a reception.