Category Archives: United States Supreme Court Decisions

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 →

Egg Production Practices Subject of Supreme Court Lawsuits

It is not all that often that agricultural issues make their way before the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, but recently two lawsuits were filed in the High Court involving state laws governing egg production. Background In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 2, the “Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act,” which mandated minimum cage sizes (116 square inches of floor space per chicken) for egg farms in the state of California.  The regulations were intended to allow hens to lie down, stand up, turn around, and… Read More →

January 12, 2017 Weekly Round Up

It was a busy week around here as I traveled to Nashville to speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation Conference.  It was my first time to be on the same agenda as the President, so that was quite exciting!  To those of you joining from that conference, welcome to the blog!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.   * US Supreme Court will not hear Endangered Species Act case involving Utah prairie dog.  You may remember a case in Utah where… Read More →

US Supreme Court Talks Regulatory Takings in Murr v. Wisconsin

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Murr v. Wisconsin last week, siding with the state and holding that two lots adjacent to a river should be considered as one parcel for takings analysis.  Perhaps more relevant than the actual holding in the case is the discussion that the court engaged in related to regulatory takings analysis generally. Background The Murr siblings own two 1.25-acre waterfront lots on Lake St. Croix in Wisconsin.  The first lot, Lot F, was purchased in 1960 by the Murr parents, and… Read More →

June 30, 2017 Weekly Round Up

This week I spoke to a great group in Sweetwater about leases and estate planning.  Welcome to those of you joining from that meeting! There has been so much ag law news happening in the last couple of weeks that my head is still spinning.  Here are the highlights. * Jury verdict for Kansas farmers in first Syngenta Viptera/Duracade class action trial.  A Kansas jury awarded nearly $218 million to Kansas farmers in this much-watched class action suit, finding that Syngenta was negligent.  Syngenta has already said it plans… Read More →

Unanimous Victory in United States Supreme Court for Landowners

Last week, Chief Justice Roberts wrote a unanimous opinion in the case United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, holding that landowners do have the right to challenge jurisdictional determinations by the EPA that water on their lands is governed by the Clean Water Act.  This decision is extremely important for landowners across the country.  [Read full opinion here.] Background The full factual background of this case was set forth in this prior blog post.  Essentially, the Corps of Engineers (COE) determined that waters on land owned by… Read More →