Category Archives: United States Supreme Court Decisions

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 →

June 29, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  My husband and I just returned from a little vacation in the California wine country.   Although we had a great time in Napa, I made sure to keep up with the ag law news this week so I could share some of the biggest stories with you all. *Justice Kennedy announces retirement.  Perhaps the biggest news this week was that US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he will retire during the Court’s summer break.  Immediately, talk turned to speculation over who President Trump might… Read More →

Water Wars in the US Supreme Court: Why Should Agriculture Care?

I recently did a webinar with my friend and WVU law professor, Jesse Richardson, talking about the various interstate lawsuits at the US Supreme Court dealing with water. We provided an overview of equitable apportionment, walked through four cases–Mississippi v. Tennessee, Florida v. Georgia, Montana v. Wyoming, and Texas v. New Mexico–and then drew some conclusions based on each of these cases, including why agriculture is at the center of each of them. The webinar was recorded, and can be viewed by clicking here.

April 6, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello from sunny Kerrville!  I’ve been on the road this week, speaking at Extension meetings in Leon Springs and Kerrville as well as the Texas Bankers Association Ag and Rural Affairs Conference here at the YO Hotel in Kerrville.  Welcome to the new readers from those events. Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *China announces proposed tariffs on US products, including agricultural exports.  The biggest ag story of the week has been China’s announcement that it plans to impose a 25% tariff on… Read More →

Unanimous US Supreme Court: United States Can Participate as Party in Texas v. New Mexico

The United States will be allowed to participate as a party in the Texas v. New Mexico lawsuit before the United Stated Supreme Court, wrote Justice Gorsuch last week on behalf of a unanimous bench. Background We’ve been following Texas v. New Mexico for years.  To read a more detailed explanation of the merits of the lawsuit, click here. There are multiple agreements at issue in this litigation. First, what we will refer to as “the Treaty.”  In 1906, the United States entered into a treaty with Mexico, requiring the… Read More →

January 26, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I tell you what, it’s been a whirlwind of a week both for my travel schedule and for ag law news!  On Monday I spoke in Pampa at a program hosted by County Extension Agents Mike Jeffcoat, Michael Wilkes, and Jody Bradford.  Then on Tuesday, I headed to Lubbock for the Seeking Solutions Regional Extension meeting.  Wednesday found me back on the road to Lubbock to speak at the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Water College. Today, I’ll be doing an online presentation for a graduate student group… Read More →