In Murr v. Wisconsin, the U.S. Supreme Court confronted the “denominator problem” that arises when defining the baseline unit of property for assessing a regulatory taking. That problem was particularly complex in light of Wisconsin’s merger provision, an increasingly common zoning tool that treats adjacent, commonly owned lots as a single, merged property barred from separate sale or development. Despite the Court's already "muddled" regulatory takings jurisprudence, the Court adopted yet another multifactor test to determine the denominator in the context of the Murrs’ two, adjacent waterfront lots.
Wolves are controversial carnivores whose management generates intense debate. That debate, and the response from wolf managers, often fails to adequately account for rural communities’ fears about wolves. These fears, if ignored, can lead to the frustration of conservation objectives and a disrespect for the law itself. In order to avoid these consequences, nongovernmental organizations and governments involved in wolf management must survey rural communities and implement wolf management strategies that account for rural concerns while honoring conservation objectives.
Waterkeeper v. EPA represents a limited victory for advocates of reporting requirements. In this case, the court held that the Environmental Protection Agency could not exempt farms from air pollution reporting requirements based on the use of the de minimis doctrine, which allows for exemptions from regulations to avoid trifling matters. Prior to this case, in most environmental cases involving the de minimis doctrine, courts have upheld agency use of the doctrine unless a court finds that the statutory language is “extraordinarily rigid” and therefore does not permit this interpretative tool.
In The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying our Politics, and Driving us Crazy, climate scientist Michael Mann joins with Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Tom Toles to take on climate change denialism. Mann, the Director of the Earth System Science Center at The Pennsylvania State University, augments his prose with cartoons from Toles, who normally draws for the editorial section of the Washington Post. Together, Mann and Toles set out to debunk the main arguments that special interest groups use to undermine climate change policy.