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National Media Ask VLS Professor to Explain Supreme Court Decision

June 27, 2013

South Royalton, VT—A Vermont Law School faculty member, John Echeverria, has been asked by The New York Times, Atlantic, Reuters, and other national media outlets to explain an important Supreme Court decision that he believes “will result in long-lasting harm to America’s communities.”

Professor Echeverria, professor of law and the former acting director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School published an op-ed in the New York Times today about the case (Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District).

The New York Times op-ed outlines how this case—which might seem obscure in the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions about affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and voting rights—is a “blockbuster decision” that shifts “costs of protecting a community from a harmful building project” from developers to local taxpayers and residents.

In addition to The New York Times, Professor Echeverria’s opinion on the case has been sought by other national media outlets. In The Atlantic Cities (a site devoted to ideas and issues facing global cities and neighborhoods), Echeverria described the case as “a very important decision that seriously undermines the authority of local communities across the country.”

In an interview with Reuter’s, Echeverria explained that the decision "means requirements to pay fees or other payments as a condition of permit approvals will be subject to heightened scrutiny. That is a revolutionary change in the law.”

Greenwire has also written about the case, and included Echeverria along with experts from Stanford and the Pacific Legal Foundation.

Professor Echeverria joined the Vermont Law School faculty in 2009. He previously served for 12 years as executive director of the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. He was also general counsel of the National Audubon Society and general counsel and conservation director of American Rivers, Inc. He has written extensively on the takings issue and other aspects of environmental and natural resource law. In 2007, Professor Echeverria received the Jefferson Fordham Advocacy Award from the American Bar Association to recognize outstanding excellence within the area of state and local government law over a lifetime of achievement.

Peter Glenshaw, Director of Communications
Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1318
cell: 603-738-8487

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