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Supreme Court Limits Reach of Clean Water Act Over Wetlands, Leaving Questions for Owners and Developers

In a landmark decision issued May 25, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court jettisoned a judicial rule on the scope of the Clean Water Act’s applicability that had been used to justify an expansive exercise of authority by federal agencies regulating certain wetlands under the Act. The ruling significantly curtails the jurisdiction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Act, precluding their regulation of wetlands that are not directly connected to surface water bodies. The ruling addresses what constitutes “the waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to which the Act applies – a topic that has been the subject of much agency rulemaking, litigation, and controversy in recent years.

The Supreme Court’s Landmark Andy Warhol Copyright Decision Has Significant Implications for Creators and Artists

On May 18, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith et al. The case involved a dispute over whether Andy Warhol’s use of a photograph of Prince was a fair use of the copyright in the original photograph.

The End of the Pandemic … or Not?

In February 2023, the U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services announced the planned end of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19. On May 11, the PHE officially concluded. For employers, this has a number of implications, including a change in required coverage by employer-sponsored health plans of testing and treatment for COVID-19. According to updated guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), insurance providers may begin billing for laboratory tests and COVID-19 treatments. Additionally, vaccination requirements for federal employees, federal contractors and Medicare covered facilities have ended.

Climate Change, the Public Trust, and Constitutional Challenges in Montana: the First Trial Addressing the “Right” to a Clean and Healthful Environment Starts June 12

A first-of-its-kind climate change trial will start in a Montana State District Court on June 12, 2023. It will be the first involving a climate change suit premised on the Public Trust Doctrine and challenges pursuant to a state’s Constitution.

Power Plants Face New Greenhouse Gas Standards

That portion of the power sector that includes the combustion of fossil fuels in electric generating units (EGUs) is the largest stationary source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the United States and was responsible for emitting 25 percent of the overall domestic carbon emissions in 2021.

HHS Publishes New Cybersecurity Resources

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published new cybersecurity resources with the goal of mitigating common cybersecurity threats in the healthcare sector. The resources include:

Affirmative Asylum – An Update

The following is an update to the November 21, 2022, blog post about my experience representing an Afghan refugee seeking Affirmative Asylum.

Net Zero Ever More Problematic: Global Coal-Fired Power Capacity Went Up in 2022 / China’s Increase Overpowers the Rest of the World

In a report released April 5, 2023, the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) produced its’ ninth annual survey of the “coal plant pipeline.” While the amount of planned coal-fired power plant capacity in developing countries fell by 23 gigawatts (GW), China’s planned capacity overpowered that reduction by over five times, i.e., 126 GW.

Severance Agreements Take Another Hit: The NLRB General Counsel Weighs In

On March 22, a memorandum issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo provided her perspective on a number of questions employers have been asking after the McLaren Macomb decision was issued a month ago.

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Ending Gender Bias

In the next installment of my Women’s History Month blog series, I discuss equality in the workplace, equal pay for equal work, and ending gender bias.

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