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March 28, 2019 by Sandra Zellmer

Opinion Analysis: The Justices Wish Sturgeon 'Good Hunting' in Sturgeon v. Frost

This post was originally published on SCOTUSblog. It is republished here under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US).

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously this week in favor of Alaskan John Sturgeon, who waged a 12-year battle against the National Park Service over its ban on hovercraft in park preserves. As a result of the decision, Sturgeon can once again "rev up his hovercraft in search of moose" on the Nation River in the Yukon Charley Preserve. This is the second time this fight has come before the Supreme Court. On one hand, it involves important legal issues affecting public lands, federalism, and water rights. But on the other, it is a narrow case over the special circumstances of federal lands in Alaska.

As a quick recap, Sturgeon was navigating the Nation River on his hovercraft in 2007 when Park Service officials stopped him and told him that his craft was not allowed under nationwide regulations banning hovercraft in the National Park System. Sturgeon filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming that the nationwide ban did not apply in Alaska, given the unique language of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals …

Nov. 6, 2018 by James Goodwin
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The meeting logs for the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) – the small but powerful bureau that oversees federal rulemaking efforts on behalf of the president – have looked a little different in recent weeks. As usual, they are graced by high-priced corporate lobbyists and attorneys from white-shoe law firms, along with a smattering of activists from public interest organizations. But also signing in have been nearly a dozen ordinary Americans, representing only themselves, and they've been there to express their views on one rule: the Department of Education's proposal to weaken existing federal measures aimed at addressing sexual assaults on college campuses

The draft proposal, which has been a top of priority of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos the last few months, is attracting considerable controversy. It overturns several decades' worth of federal policy on the issue of sexual misconduct at federally funded educational institutions …

Oct. 31, 2018 by Sandra Zellmer
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This post was originally published on SCOTUSblog. It is republished here under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US). Click here to read Professor Zellmer's follow-up analysis of the oral arguments in this case and here to read her analysis of the opinion.

“Alaska is different.” So said Chief Justice John Roberts when the U.S. Supreme Court last took up this case two years ago in Sturgeon v. Frost (Sturgeon I). When the court hears a second oral argument in Sturgeon v. Frost (Sturgeon II) next Monday, it will once again consider whether a form of transportation unknown to most people outside of Alaska – a hovercraft (an amphibious vehicle that glides over land and water) – can be used in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve conservation system unit (CSU). Why, you may ask, would the court bother (twice) with such an arcane and …

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More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
March 28, 2019

Opinion Analysis: The Justices Wish Sturgeon 'Good Hunting' in Sturgeon v. Frost

Nov. 6, 2018

For Parents of Rape Survivors, OIRA's 'Open Door' to Nowhere

Oct. 31, 2018

Argument Preview: Can a Hovercraft Navigate the Shoals of Yukon-Charley?