Category Archives: United States Supreme Court Decisions

2021 Ag Law Year in Review – National

Happy 2022!  As we do each year, we’ve compiled our list of some of the biggest agricultural law stories in 2021.  Today, we will take a look at this from the national level.  Next week, we will take a look at Texas-specific issues.  To hear Paul Goeringer and I discuss the biggest issues of 2021, click here to listen to our year-end episode of the Ag Law in the Field Podcast. Waters of the United States If there has been one constant over the last 5 years, it… Read More →

United States Supreme Court Dismisses Mississippi v. Tennessee Groundwater Lawsuit

The United States Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion in an ongoing groundwater dispute between Mississippi and Tennessee.  [Read Opinion here.] I wrote a blog post detailing this decision for the National Agricultural Law Center.  To read my summary of the dispute, description of the Opinion, and thoughts about what this means from here, just click here to read that post.

December 3, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy December!  There has been a lot of agricultural law news over the past few weeks, so here are some of the biggest stories impacting agriculture. *Texas Supreme Court denied petition for review in Lyle v. Midway Solar.  Earlier this year, the El Paso Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit filed by mineral owners against a solar company for building a solar farm on the property.  The court held that the accommodation doctrine would apply, but that because the mineral owner had not sought to actually develop the minerals,… Read More →

July 2, 2021 Weekly Round Up

It has been a busy couple of weeks in the agricultural law world.  Here’s a recap of some of the biggest stories. * Texas Supreme Court will not hear Texas Central Railway eminent domain case.  The Texas Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure.  This denial leaves in place the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals ruling that Texas Central is considered a “railroad company” and an “interurban railroad,” thereby giving it eminent domain power to condemn land for the high… Read More →

US Supreme Court Sides with Agricultural Employers in Takings Case

Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, a case involving a California law requiring agricultural employers to allow union organizers to enter the employer’s property.  The employers claimed this was a taking of private property without just compensation, and the US Supreme Court agreed.  [Read Opinion here.] Background  California law gives agricultural employees the right to self-organization and prohibits employers from interfering with that right.  The California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (CALRB) passed a regulation that requires labor organizations to… Read More →

SCOTUS Rules for Georgia in Water Dispute with Florida

The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on April 1, 2021, ending a water dispute between Florida and Georgia. Background  Florida filed an original suit against Georgia in 2013 claiming that Georgia consumes more than its fair share of water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (“ACF”). The basin consists of three rivers: the Flint, the Chattahoochee, and the Apalachicola.  Both the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers start in Georgia and empty into Lake Seminole, which sits on the Florida/Georgia border. Both are critical water sources for Georgia,… Read More →

US Supreme Court Dismisses Texas Petition for Review in Pecos River Dispute

In December, the US Supreme Court issued an opinion in Texas v. New Mexico, a water law dispute involving the Pecos River. The Compact  The Pecos river runs from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico through New Mexico and Texas and eventually into the Rio Grande River at the Texas-Mexico border near Del Rio, Texas.  In 1949, Texas and New Mexico signed the Pecos River Compact, and Congress ratified the Compact.  The Compact provides for the “equitable division and apportionment of the use of… Read More →

US Supreme Court Decides Maui County Clean Water Act Case

The much-anticipated United States Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund was released last week.  It is a fascinating decision that results in the Court adopting a “functional equivalent” test.  [Click here.] Background Under the federal Clean Water Act, it is unlawful to discharge a pollutant from a point source into a Water of the United States without obtaining a federal permit.  The question before the US Supreme Court is whether a permit is required when pollutants originate from a point source, but travel through… Read More →

June 28, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Today, I’m speaking in Crockett at our “Owning Your Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know” program.  You’ve only got two more chances to catch one of these free events–Cat Spring on August 26 and College Station on September 12.  For more info click here and to register click here. For a free PDF copy of the Owning Your Piece of Texas handbook, click here.  To order a hard copy, contact Lacrecia at Lacrecia.Garza@ag.tamu.edu. Here are some ag law stories in the news… Read More →

Unanimous Supreme Court: “Critical Habitat” Under Endangered Species Act Must Be Habitat

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision last week in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. USFWS, addressing whether the Endangered Species Act allows for the government to designate an area to be “critical habitat” when it is not currently suitable for the particular species to reside.  [Read Opinion here.] Factual Background In 2001, the dusky gopher frog was listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  This frog historically had been found along the coast of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the forested areas.  However, at the… Read More →