09/15/2017 - EELP News - Faculty - Supreme Court Decisions

Professor Lazarus on Murr v. Wisconsin and Regulatory Takings

On June 23, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld Wisconsin and St. Croix County land use regulations written to protect a Wild and Scenic River. Professor Richard Lazarus argued the case on behalf of the regulators before the Supreme Court in March.

Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, finding that the state and local regulations preventing separate development on small adjacent lots under common ownership along the St. Croix River did not constitute a regulatory taking of property. Four justices joined Kennedy.

Read Lazarus’ review of the ruling, how it avoided a “poison pill” for government regulators in future cases, and why “Justice Kennedy’s potential departure [from the Court] would be a big loss for environmental litigants,” in his latest column in Environmental Law Institute’s Environmental Forum.