Category Archives: United States Supreme Court Decisions

October 14, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It has been a busy couple of weeks in the ag law world. *US Supreme Court hears oral argument in two key cases.  The US Supreme Court heard oral argument in two key ag-related cases.  First, on October 3, 2022, the Justices heard argument in Sackett v. EPA, a case looking at the proper test for determining whether a wetland is considered a “water of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.  [Read more here.]  To listen to the recording of this argument or read the… Read More →

US Supreme Court Will Hear Proposition 12 Challenge

On March 28, the United States Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari in National Pork Producers v. Ross, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12).  To hear more about animal confinement statutes generally and Prop 12 specifically, click here for a podcast episode I did with Beth Rumley from the National Agricultural Law Center. Background Prop 12, passed by California voters in 2018, makes it illegal to sell pork in California unless the pig from which it comes was born to a sow housed… Read More →

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 →