Environmental Law & Property Rights
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- Hazardous Waste & Toxic Tort
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|First Annual Executive Branch Review Conference|
|What to Expect When No One is Expecting - Podcast|
Conventional wisdom for the past 50 or so years argues that American and world population growth spell doom for the human race, the world economy, the availability of food stocks and other critical natural resources, the environment and even the Earth itself. In “What to Expect When No One is Expecting”, author Jonathan Last asserts that these underlying assumptions are incorrect. He assesses the consequences of the notable and persistent decreases in population growth, or even a failure of population maintenance, and suggests that they are even more alarming. On this previously recorded live conference call, author Jonathan Last is interviewed by National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru about his book, and answer questions from the audience.
|The Seeds of Patent Law: Bowman v. Monsanto - Podcast|
On Tuesday, February 19, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Bowman v. Monsanto, an extremely important case about the scope of patent licensing rights and their important role in the biotech industry. Nominally, the case is about whether Monsanto can impose a single-use restriction on purchases of its patented genetically modified soybean seed. Bowman, who reused Monsanto's patented seed in violation of express license terms prohibiting him from doing this, says “no” because the seed, unlike patented technologies in the mechanical or high-tech fields, is necessarily “self-replicating.” Monsanto maintains that without the ability to impose the types of use restrictions that patent-owners have legally done since the early 19th century, it cannot recoup its substantial R&D investments in these valuable and life-enhancing products of the biotech revolution. The implications of this case go far beyond genetically modified seeds and the green revolution, as patented isolated DNA, microorganisms, and cell lines used in medical treatments are all “self-replicating.” This case raises fundamental questions about the scope of patent protection over forms of life and how the patent system functions in securing the new innovation that has made the green and biotech revolutions—and the wonders of modern life—possible.
|Federalist Society’s Executive Branch Review Project: A Teleforum with Senator Mike Lee and David McIntosh - Podcast|
An increase in Federal executive branch regulatory activity – whether through executive order, formal or informal administrative agency action – has been noted by many across the country. In launching the Executive Branch Review Project, the Practice Groups of the Federalist Society seek to prompt a national debate about whether there has been an uptick in such regulatory activity, and, if so, with what consequence. The project will provide objective resources that identify major government activity, and will provide a forum for debate and discussion about whether such regulation constitutes a form of legal and regulatory overreach. The first component of this project is a new blog dedicated to highlighting action or inaction by the executive branch, http://www.executivebranchproject.com/
To kickoff this new endeavor, U.S. Senator Michael S. Lee (Utah) and Federalist Society founder and Vice Chairman David M. McIntosh discussed the project and provided their perspectives on the use of executive power.
|Deference to the EPA? Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center - Podcast|
On this previously recorded live conference call, Mr. Timothy Bishop, a partner at Mayer Brown and co-author of the leading treatise, Supreme Court Practice, discusses Georgia-Pacific West v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, argued before the Supreme Court on December 3rd. The case focuses on 1) whether Clean Water Act regulation of logger-used forest roads should be via industrial “point source” permit or “best management practice” rules and 2) whether the Court accepts how the NEDC circumvented the CWA’s jurisdictional limits on court challenges of implementing regulations. In oral arguments, Mr. Bishop represented Georgia-Pacific West and numerous forestry companies.