E. Supp. 2013

Poison in the Well: Creating Reasonable Expectations for Compensation After Scottsdale Indemnity Co. v. Village of Crestwood

In 2007 it came to light that town officials in Crestwood, Illinois had intentionally caused residents to use contaminated well water for more than twenty years. A group of residents sued the town and its officials and alleged that the contaminated water had caused illness (and in some cases death) to themselves and their relatives. […]

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Endangered Precedent: Interpreting Agency Action and the Duty to Consult Under Section 7 of the ESA in Light of Karuk

Following the designation of the West Coast coho salmon as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and the ensuing designation of the Klamath River system in the Pacific Northwest as critical habitat for the species, the indigenous Karuk Tribe challenged the U.S. Forest Service’s mining permit approval practices in Karuk Tribe of California […]

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North Dakota: Flipping the Bird at the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Since 2012

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) it is a federal misdemeanor to kill a migratory bird “by any means, or in any manner.” In 2012, three oil and gas companies operating in the Bakken region of North Dakota were charged with violations of the MBTA after dead and oiled birds were found in and […]

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Can Public Trust Rights Re-Emerge? The Takings Clause Implications of United States v. 32.42 Acres of Land

In 2005, the United States took by eminent domain about 32.42 acres of prime San Diego coastland that had been subject to California’s public tidelands trust. In the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California State Lands Commission argued that although the state public trust may not apply to the land while in federal hands […]

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The Thirsty Cattle Exception: How an Antiquated Law Could Dry Up Eastern Washington

Groundwater is a scarce resource in the arid plains of the northwestern United States. Accordingly, its high demand by farmers and cattle ranchers has led to a series of laws restricting and governing its use. The Supreme Court of Washington recently ruled in Five Corners Family Farmers v. State that one of these statutes, drafted […]

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Time for Judicial Enforcement of ESA Recovery Plans? . . . “When [Squirrels] Fly”

In August 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule in the Federal Register officially removing the West Virginia northern flying squirrel from the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife, approximately twenty-three years after it was originally listed. The flying squirrel’s delisting proved quite controversial and many environmentalists challenged the agency’s decision […]

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Blocking the Flow: Texas Faces New Challenges in its Water Crisis After an Unfavorable Ruling in Tarrant

As Texas’s population continues growing, the state is struggling to forestall a looming water crisis. Tarrant Regional Water District, a Texas state agency, sought to purchase some of Oklahoma’s water from the Red River, which forms a boundary between the states. Tarrant’s efforts failed because Oklahoma’s water permit laws disfavor out-of-state purchasers. Tarrant sued the […]

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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Food and Drug Administration: Is the Standard of Review “Unlawfully Withheld” or “Arbitrary and Capricious”?

In 1977, the Food and Drug Administration initiated a process to withdraw approval of the subtherapeutic use of antibiotics in food producing animals out of concern the use was not shown to be safe. Over thirty years later, the FDA still had not completed the process, prompting several nonprofit advocacy groups to seek a court […]

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