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Views from the blog-o-sphere

Views from the bog-o-sphereCA: Argument preview: A Clean Water Act question no one cares to debate

By Kevin Russell – Scoutusblog – December 3, 2012
Sometimes a case doesn’t turn out the way the Supreme Court likely thought it would when it granted certiorari.  Last week, Lyle reported on the unexpected turn of events in Vance v. Ball State University, when the university refused to defend the rule under which it had prevailed in the court of appeals, instead agreeing in large part with the basic standard proposed by the plaintiff and the United States.   Something similar has happened in a case scheduled for argument tomorrow, Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc..  In that case, the Court granted certiorari to decide whether the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirements apply when someone channels water from one part of a river to another through a concrete channel or similar flood control mechanism.  It turns out that all the parties, and the United States as amicus, agree that the answer to that question is “No.”  The only thing the parties dispute is how that answer should affect the outcome in this particular litigation, a question the Court likely would not have granted certiorari to decide standing alone.

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