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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

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council at 25

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
James S. Burling, Eric R. Claeys, Michael A. Wolf April 06, 2017

This spring marks the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council.  In Lucas, a 5-4 Court majority held that a state law can effect a "regulatory taking" and trigger inverse condemnation requirements if it deprives an owner of all viable uses of his land.  Join our panel to hear a discussion of questions such as: Did Lucas mark a major change in Supreme Court regulatory takings doctrine? Was the decision about right, or did it go too far or not far enough?  Is Lucas still relevant to regulatory takings law today, and what are the chances that the decision might be reconsidered or extended?  

Featuring:

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

  • Professor Eric R. Claeys, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School

  • Professor Michael A. Wolf, Professor of Law, Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Courthouse Steps: Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Murr v. Wisconsin - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Podcast
James S. Burling, Misha Tseytlin March 22, 2017

On March 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Murr v. Wisconsin. This is a regulatory takings case which addresses 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 and Misha Tseytlin, the Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin, will join us to discuss this interesting case and offer their thoughts following oral argument. 

Featuring:

  • James S. Burling, Vice President of Litigation, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Misha Tseytlin, Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin

Courthouse Steps: Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Murr v. Wisconsin

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
James S. Burling, Misha Tseytlin March 20, 2017

On March 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Murr v. Wisconsin. This is a regulatory takings case which addresses 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 and Misha Tseytlin, the Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin, will join us to discuss this interesting case and offer their thoughts following oral argument. 

Featuring:

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

  • Misha Tseytlin, Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin

Extraterrestrial Property Rights

Short video featuring Glenn Reynolds
Glenn Reynolds January 25, 2017

Can you own a piece of property on a different planet?  Professor Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee College of Law explains the basis of property rights on Mars and other celestial bodies, including how such rights would be recognized by the United States government.

Federalist Society Review, Volume 17, Issue 3

Katie McClendon December 08, 2016

We are pleased to bring you the latest issue of the Federalist Society Review. The Federalist Society Review is the legal journal produced by the Federalist Society’s Practice Groups. The Review was formerly known as Engage, and although the name has changed, it still features top-notch scholarship on important legal and public policy issues from some of the best legal minds in the country.

The Review is published three times a year, thanks to the hard work of our fifteen Practice Group Executive Committees and authors who volunteer their time and expertise. The Review seeks to contribute to the marketplace of ideas in a way that is collegial, accessible, intelligent, and original. Articles and full issues are available on our website and through the Westlaw database. 

We hope that readers enjoy the articles and come away with new information and fresh insights. Please send us any suggestions and responses at info@fedsoc.org.

[Read Now]

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

2016 National Lawyers Convention

The Jurisprudence and Legacy of Justice Scalia
November 17, 2016

The 2016 National Lawyers Convention is scheduled for Thursday, November 17 through Saturday, November 19 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The topic of this year's convention is: The Jurisprudence and Legacy of Justice Scalia.

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

Clean Power Plan Oral Argument Recap

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
Elbert Lin October 05, 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, will once again join us to discuss the oral arguments in this very important case.

Featuring:

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