The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid (No. 20-107), a case that has generated considerable amicus participation and press coverage.  In that case, union organizers, relying on a California law, entered the property of a fruit nursery with bullhorns in hand in order to urge unionization directly to the employees.  Cedar Point argued that the California access regulation is a taking of property under the Fifth Amendment because it interferes with its fundamental right to exclude persons it does not wish to have on its property.  The Ninth Circuit rejected the takings claim, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari.  During oral argument on March 22, the Court appeared to be seeking a way to draw a line between per se takings and the government’s right to access property for traditional police and enforcement purposes.  How the Court’s opinion deals with this issue remains to be seen.
Continue Reading A Property Right To Exclude Others: Cedar Point Nursery’s Implications For Regulatory Enforcement

On April 23 the Supreme Court announced its decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund (No. 18-260), which addressed the fundamental issue of what is a discharge to navigable waters requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act.  The case arose in the context of the County’s discharges of wastewater to wells that traveled through groundwater to the Pacific Ocean.  Justice Breyer’s opinion for the Court held that a permit is needed when there is the “functional equivalent” of a direct discharge.
Continue Reading SCOTUS Has Spoken: Kinda Sorta Direct Discharges Need A Permit