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VLS In the News

Biden EPA to reverse Trump's sweeping Clean Water Act rollback
...outreach sessions around the country this summer and fall. But forging a compromise in the decades-long battle appears to be a long-shot, with environmental groups holding firmly to a strong stance on wide protections. "It's hallucinogenic" to think any sort of agreement could be reached among the long-warring parties, Vermont Law School Professor Patrick Parenteau told POLITICO last month . Any rule finalized by the Biden administration would immediately face court challenges, and many legal experts think the issue will only truly be resolved if the Supreme Court rules again or if Congress steps in to clarify...
June 09, 2021
Biden pushes protection for more streams and wetlands, targeting a major Trump rollback
...Kennedy's and with the Supreme Court taking an even more conservative turn with the appointments of three justices by President Trump, it's unclear what sort of rule could now pass muster. "That is the $64 million question, isn't it?" said Patrick Parenteau, a professor of natural resources law at Vermont Law School. "It's got to be a rule that gets five votes on the Supreme Court, and that's going to be damn...
June 09, 2021
UVM to require COVID vaccinations once fully approved by FDA
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - All University of Vermont students must be fully vaccinated against COVID this fall once the Food and Drug Administration fully approves at least one of the vaccines. There are a few exceptions but a majority of the campus must be vaccinated. And both the administration and a student I spoke with tell me it’s time for this requirement. “Most of them really want this in-person, real experience,” UVM Provost Patty Prelock said. UVM says it is requiring students to be fully vaccinated for in-person learning once at least one of the coronavirus vaccines receives full FDA approval.
June 09, 2021
What will happen when Scott lifts Vermont’s Covid-19 state of emergency?
...of residents had met the vaccination requirement, with 3,139 more residents needed to reach the governor's threshold.  In removing the emergency declaration, Scott will be giving up the wide latitude he and his administration have used to unilaterally respond to the pandemic. Jared Carter, a constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, said that by declaring a state of emergency, Scott — and governors across the U.S. — "have been able to essentially govern by fiat." Carter said that under state constitutions, governors can usually use such expansive power only "when there is an emergency" and the approach...
June 08, 2021
Court Scraps Vermont Ban on Sending Public Funds to Religious Schools
...white flag and say, 'OK, the coffers are open to the churches to come get what you want,'" he said. Instead, the state needs to "be nuanced and say, 'OK, here's how we're going to restrict this use.'" Peter Teachout, who works as a professor of constitutional law at Vermont Law School, agrees, arguing that there should be a process to certify that tax dollars are going to sectarian functions. "Private religious schools have lots of expenses that are unrelated to the propagation of religious feelings," he pointed out in an interview. The issue stems from voucher...
June 08, 2021
New ruling says public dollars can go to religious schools
...pretty definite answer by the court that the current regime that is going on in Vermont, in all public programs — but in particular the tuitioning program — is unconstitutional," Paul Schmitt, legal counsel for the Alliance, said in an interview. But Peter Teachout, a constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, argued this latest order is "quite narrow" and still leaves open the possibility that the state can prohibit tax dollars from paying directly for religious instruction. In a certain respect, Wednesday's ruling by a three-judge Second Circuit appeals panel is no surprise. The immediate result...
June 02, 2021
Meadowbrook Healthcare requires COVID-19 vaccinations for staff, or otherwise terminated
...for the patients and employees. There are many jobs out there. This is not manufacturing. This is a critical environment to work in," he said. "If you're in health care, if you care for your residents, if you care for your patients, this is something you have to do."Vermont Law School professor, Jared Carter, says this is an issue popping up across the country. "The nursing home is well within its legal rights to require vaccination and if an individual decides not to get vaccinated, to terminate that individual or decide not to hire that individual for the patients and employees. There are many jobs out there. This is not manufacturing. This is a critical environment to work in," he said. "If you're in health care, if you care for your residents, if you care for your patients, this is something you have to do." Vermont Law School professor, Jared Carter, says this is an
June 02, 2021
Oil Leasing in the Arctic Refuge in Alaska Is Dead. Or Is It?
...the executive branch were able to collaborate so effectively. That's a big achievement by any administration that wants to bind another administration statutorily." Under the law, "Biden's going to have to do another Arctic drilling lease sale no matter what," said Patrick Parenteau, a professor of law with the Vermont Law School. Mr. Parenteau and other legal experts noted that the Biden administration could find ways to delay or diminish the second auction of drilling leases. For example, while the law requires the Interior Department to hold an auction, it does not require that the agency actually...
June 02, 2021
Johnson & Johnson Faces Another Crisis After Supreme Court Decision
...with asbestos  but tried to cover it up. The report triggered a 10% drop in the company's stock price. J&J called that report 'false and inflammatory ,' according to  NPR ." Affirming Consumer Concerns Professor Laurie Beyranevand is the director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School . She said yesterday's court decision "... likely affirms any consumer concerns about Johnson & Johnson's products raised as a result of the lawsuit. However, even if the Supreme Court had decided to take up the appeal, it's likely Johnson & Johnson has already suffered...
June 02, 2021
Biden Era Brings Disappointments for Environmental Groups
...enough to merit a change in position. But several recent defenses of Trump-era decisions stand out as President Joe Biden launches ambitious environmental plans and erases other parts of the last administration's legacy. The contrast has left many environmentalists confused and angry. "It's worse when your friends disappoint you," Vermont Law School professor Patrick Parenteau said. 'Really Baffled' That dynamic was on display last month when the Justice Department and conservation groups squared off over a Trump-era policy that allowed oil and gas leasing in sage grouse territory in the West. The Interior Department under Biden has...
June 01, 2021
Big Setbacks Propel Oil Giants Toward a 'Tipping Point'
...reduce oil in its portfolio and halt its growth in liquefied natural gas, in which Shell is an industry leader. That is a matter of concern for the investors who have their money in the oil and gas reserves of companies like Shell, said Patrick Parenteau, a professor at Vermont Law School. "A decision telling a company, 'You've got to get out of the oil business.' For cautious individuals within the financial community, that's got to cause them serious concerns." Dangerously for Shell, the national judiciary of the Netherlands in the past has shown itself to be...
May 29, 2021
Dakota Access Still Faces Existential Threats Despite Court Win
Act. Critics say allowing the pipeline to stay in service despite those flaws renders tribes' victories hollow. "That is a paper victory at best, and the plaintiffs are owed so much more than that after suffering the consequences associated with the DAPL siting, construction, and operation for four years now," Vermont Law School professor Hillary Hoffmann said. Center for Biological Diversity litigation director Eric Glitzenstein blamed the U.S. Supreme Court for "dramatically stacking the deck" against environmental plaintiffs in a pair of decisions— Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms in 2010 and Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council...
May 24, 2021
SUPREME COURT BP v. Baltimore sets stage for broader climate brawl
Court of Appeals reversed Alsup's ruling and affirmed that the cases belonged before a state bench. In January, attorneys for the oil and gas companies filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 9th Circuit's decision. "The one to watch is Oakland," said Pat Parenteau, a professor at Vermont Law School. "If that petition were granted, I would sit up and take notice," Parenteau added. "I don't think it will be, but if it is, that would raise some more troubling issues." Ted Boutrous, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP who is on the...
May 18, 2021
The Racist Past Of The Filibuster And Why It Should End Now
...I'm willing to look at any way we can," Sen. Manchin remarked. "But I'm not willing to take away the involvement of the minority." President Joe Biden has refused to publicly discuss whether he would seek an end to the filibuster. Professor Jared Carter, a Constitutional Law Expert at Vermont Law School, said it's time to end the filibuster. He noted that the first filibuster occurred in 1837 and was used infrequently until after the Civil War when minority parties employed the measure to stop civil rights efforts. "It is a relic of reconstruction and Jim Crow South.
May 17, 2021
Could a simple database prevent massive ag companies from patenting and guarding seed varieties?
...60 percent of the world's seed, and there has been growing consternation over their ability to tie up genetic resources—increasingly important as climate change disrupts what grows where—much in the same way Pod-Ners attempted with those yellow beans. But a small coalition of breeders like Myers, lawyers at the Vermont Law School, and open-source advocate Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) thinks it might have hit on a way to fight back. This hinges on a legal framework called prior art, which the group hopes to make better known to breeders; the small seed companies their work supports; and farmers...that utility patents could be applied to living organisms—or even one bit of an organism, like an altered gene or a trait. "They can be used in a way that's broader, covering much greater range," said Emily Spiegel, a law professor at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law
May 13, 2021
Are Biden’s carbon markets as good as they look? No, say smaller farms
...operations that degrade the environment and make it harder for smaller farms to compete, say some activists. Photograph: Justin Cook/The Guardian "Smaller farms with more sustainable agricultural practices are excluded, worsening inequities in our agricultural system," says Laurie Beyranevand, director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School. "Plus, biogas technology produces other dangerous air and water pollutants and releases carbon dioxide during combustion, and that pollution often disproportionately burdens vulnerable communities that surround the facilities, raising environmental justice concerns." Still, Davis says the idea of a carbon credit as a revenue stream...
May 13, 2021
Richford Selectboard chair admits 'mistake' violating open meeting law, says situation has been fixed
...used as frequently as they are, yes, and that's why, when I became chair, we don't ... the only time we go into it is personnel usually or real estate matters. Those are the two things you go in for." Jared Carter, a professor in the law department at Vermont Law School, says because Collins acknowledged the mistake, any decision made during the meeting needed to be declared void and they need to go back and redo it. "Under the law there are meetings that can be noticed after the fact if there's an actual emergency, otherwise,...
May 12, 2021
Koffee Kup benefits battle goes to court
...into their accounts. But the very next day, the money was removed from the employees' personal accounts. The holding company says that money was paid in error. Our Darren Perron spoke with an employment law expert about the benefits battle. Watch the video to see his full interview with Vermont Law School Professor Joe Brennan. Click here for the Koffee Kup receiver's explanation about the confusion over payroll. Related...
May 11, 2021
WV's leaders heading pushback against Biden climate policy
...going to have an environment they can live in." James Van Nostrand, director at the West Virginia University College of Law Center for Sustainable Development, doesn't expect the Supreme Court to review the Morrisey-led petition. Neither does Patrick A. Parenteau, a law professor in the Environmental Advocacy Clinic at Vermont Law School, saying that the court wouldn't rule on the scope of the EPA's authority with no new emissions rule formally proposed by the Biden administration. "The Court doesn't issue that kind of advisory opinion," Parenteau said in an email. "Of course, this is a new more...
May 08, 2021
Vermont can’t discriminate against religious schools. But can those schools discriminate against kids?
...said. There are also notable religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws. Last summer, the Supreme Court held in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru that elementary school teachers could be considered "ministers" and were therefore barred from suing for employment discrimination.  Still, Peter Teachout, a constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, thinks that the state can — and should — condition public funding on adherence to those laws. "There's nothing in that Guadalupe case that says the state has to provide financial support to religious institutions and schools that are unwilling to comply with those laws,"...
May 05, 2021
Can businesses demand customers, employees be vaccinated?
...a question that many businesses want answered to keep their patrons and employees safe. Can you legally require a vaccination for somebody to come into your store? Or can you require that your employees get the shot? Our Darren Perron spoke with constitutional law expert Jared Carter from the Vermont Law School to find out the answers to those questions and more. What the video for the full interview.
May 03, 2021
What do President Biden’s climate goals mean for Vermont?
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - At his climate summit last week, President Joe Biden promised the U.S. would be a leader in combatting climate change. Among the promises: Cutting U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030. Doubling climate-related financing for low-income countries by 2024. Pushing the private sector to fund sustainable infrastructure, mitigation and other investments. Vermont’s own Global Warming Solutions Act, passed last year, gets the state most of the way toward the president’s goals. Jennifer Rushlow, the director of the Environmental Law Center at the Vermont Law School, says that puts us ahead of the curve. But while Vermont has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any state, we will need to improve efficiency in housing and transportation. “Our emissions reductions will need to come from moving both our buildings and our vehicles to electric energy
April 29, 2021
Republican AGs Press Supreme Court on EPA Climate Authority (2)
... 'Vanishingly Small Chance' The Supreme Court has previously expressed interest in the EPA's regulatory authority over greenhouse gases, taking the unprecedented step of freezing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan before it was litigated in lower courts. But the states' new petition faces a "vanishingly small chance" of being granted, Vermont Law School professor Patrick Parenteau said, as the Biden administration has already said it doesn't plan to revive the Trump or Obama rules. "Better to wait to see what EPA comes up with," he said. Harvard Law professor Richard Lazarus agreed, but noted that the case could...
April 29, 2021
Eminent domain opens doors for fossil fuels — could it do the same for renewable energy? will need a massive overhaul of its infrastructure, including finding a way to transport electricity from wind and solar farms in rural areas to population centers where energy is in demand.  "Eminent domain is critical to building a green sustainable grid," said John Echeverria, a professor at the Vermont Law School who specializes in environmental and property law. "Whenever you're dealing with linear infrastructure, whether it's a road or a pipeline or an electric transmission line, eminent domain is essential in order to construct the project." However, some legal experts see flaws in current eminent domain...
April 27, 2021
How will courts in Franklin County and Vermont tackle the backlog of cases?
... Some of the limitations the courts are dealing with include finding a space that can accommodate their needs, said Hughes. They have looked into various options including finding a larger space, such as a theater, but the plan was too expensive. Both Hughes and Professor Jared Carter of the Vermont Law School agreed that the damaging part of the delay is that over time witnesses move away, die or even have trouble recalling the details of the crime. Hughes said the situation is unfair because it is hanging over people's heads, particularly people who are innocent and...
April 26, 2021
Vermont environmentalists weigh in on Biden's climate pledge
...cut greenhouse gases in half by the end of this decade," said Pres. Joe Biden, vowing to cut greenhouse gases by 50% by the year 2030. Environmentalists in the state say this is a crucial goal Vermonters can commit to personally. Jennifer Rushlow is the Associate Dean of Environmental programs at Vermont Law School. She says Biden's pledge is ambitious but essential. "Implementing this vision is a tall order. We're going to have to completely envision how our transportation system works, how we building buildings" said Rushlow. "But I don't really see it as optional. I honestly think we would be worse...
April 26, 2021
Why gun control efforts should go beyond mass shootings, advocates say
...from those states into Illinois. And that puts Illinois communities at risk," she added. A reason Congress has been slow to act on gun reform is the Senate filibuster, a rule that requires 60 Senators to agree to vote on a bill. Jared Carter, a constitutional law expert from Vermont Law School, explained ultimately little is likely to change with gun reform when it comes to passing legislation. "I think the likelihood of anything controversial, and we know that gun rights Second Amendment issues are some of the most controversial, are not going to pass if you...
April 26, 2021
As Biden tweaks language around immigration, experts call for more substantive reform
...the WashingtonPost , which first reported on the memo. The order does not have any bearing on the language used in state or federal law. U.S. Code Title 8 , which covers immigration laws, still refers to undocumented people as "aliens." Erin Jacobsen, an immigration lawyer and professor at Vermont Law School, called Biden's order a good first step. She said the order applies only to ICE and CBP because those are the only two agencies that Biden can have say over without going through Congress. "I think it's welcome and I think it sends an important...
April 22, 2021
Vermonters relieved after Derek Chauvin conviction but say it’s not enough
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Burlington was quiet after the guilty verdict, but people on Church Street in Burlington along with local leaders say the momentum cannot stop with the conviction of Derek Chauvin. “It’s an exciting time honestly to be alive in this moment and to see a little bit of accountability happening in our justice system,” said Steffen Gillom, the president of the Windham County, Vermont, NAACP. Following the jury’s verdict, people we spoke with say they hope this decision leads to meaningful change in policing across the United States. Gillom says accountability is important and he is ready to see more action taken. “I’m ready now to have the real conversation about qualified immunity, about how we can continue to protect people and about how we continue to raise our collective humanity, but also the humanity of Black and brown people in the U.S.,” Gillom said.
April 20, 2021
FDA Launches Action Plan to Limit Toxins in Baby Food designed to produce recommendations and not final standards, FDA has set the bar too low. "Generally, it's a good sign that FDA has developed a timeline to help guide their work, since it creates some accountability," Laurie Beyranevand, director for the center for agriculture and food systems at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, tells Food Quality & Safety . "However, FDA is proposing setting action levels for these substances rather than enforceable tolerance levels. From a legal perspective, this may not go far enough ,since action levels are nonbinding—meaning they cannot be used as the...
April 15, 2021
Biden's 'One-Sided' Supreme Court Commission Could Signal Change
President Joe Biden, then the Democratic Party’s nominee, told reporters in early October that voters would "know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over" – but as Biden nears his first 100 days in the Oval Office, it's still not clear where he stands on seating additional Supreme Court justices.
April 14, 2021
3 Sneaky Ways The Meat Industry Is Trying to Fool You — Misleading Labels, Censorship and More
...animals are slaughtered.  The USDA doesn't define what "humanely raised" means, leaving it up to producers to come up with their own definitions "Although many businesses are implementing humane practices, others are trying to mislead their consumers and make larger profits," confirmed Dasha Nikitina, an animal law scholar at Vermont Law School.   Numerous misleading labels — aimed solely at increasing profit based on consumer perception, rather than actually affording protections for animals — have come under fire in the country's court systems, including those used by Boar's Head , Tillamook County Creamery Association , Fairlife LLC ,...
April 12, 2021
Vermont colleges weigh health, legal concerns in vaccination policy
...before they go home to wherever they call home," Berenbaum said.  Vaccine precedent A key question is whether colleges can require students to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.  "I think the answer, if we're basing it on historical jurisprudence, is quite clearly yes," said Jared Carter, an assistant professor at Vermont Law School with a speciality in First Amendment law. "There have been challenges to college vaccine requirements, but the courts have soundly rejected them."  Although state schools typically have less flexibility than their private counterparts, there is already considerable legal precedence for state requirements for vaccines. The...
April 12, 2021
Vt. Senate advances constitutional amendments on slavery, ‘reproductive liberty’
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Changes to the Vermont Constitution don’t come around too often but the state Senate voted to advance two proposed amendments. The first is that any type of slavery and indentured servitude are prohibited. The second is that all Vermonters have personal reproductive liberty. The amendments now go to the Vermont House. If approved by the House, the amendments will go before Vermont voters in a statewide referendum in November 2022. Our Darren Perron spoke with Jared Carter, a constitutional law professor at the Vermont Law School about the amendments and what this all means. Watch the video to see the full interview.
April 12, 2021
Legislators want new data system to understand where racial disparities begin
Justice Statistics, with a related advisory panel, to find out where the racial disparities are in Vermont's criminal justice system and how to address them. "Not having this information leads us to making wild speculations sometimes," said Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Robert Sand, a Vermont Law School professor and former state's attorney, said the bill presents  an "incredible opportunity" to finally understand what's driving the racial disparities in Vermont's criminal justice system. "Without accurate data, we rely excessively on stories and anecdotes," Sand said. "Stories are important, but stories alone shouldn't drive...
April 08, 2021
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott defends decision to expand vaccine eligibility to people of color
...Vermonters, still have a lot to learn about the impacts of racism in our country and how it has influenced public policy over the years." Critics of the decision, have raised questions about whether or not allowing people of color in the state to have vaccine priority is constitutional. Vermont Law School professor, Jared Carter, believes it is constitutional, "the question really is: does Vermont have a compelling interest as a state, in prioritizing BIPOC community members, and I think the answer to that is clearly yes," he says. All Vermont adults will become eligible for a...
April 06, 2021
Racial gap in vaccinations remains at 13% despite BIPOC-focused clinics
Two weeks after the state of Vermont started offering vaccination clinics for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), the racial disparity in COVID vaccination rates persists.
April 02, 2021
The Fear Factor: How More Shootings Lead to More Guns the current political environment. "We've seen so many tragedies and so little movement nationally," Vars says. "I don't see this as being different." Because of the split Senate and the filibuster, "any controversial legislation is going to be an uphill battle," says Jared Carter, an assistant professor of law at Vermont Law School. Biden may issue executive orders to, for example, reallocate funding to education around gun issues, but the orders are not likely to result in major changes, Carter says. If the country couldn't enact major gun-reform legislation after the Sandy Hook massacre, it's unlikely to do so now,...
April 02, 2021
Analysis: The fight over funding public-sector pensions
...employees has been underfunded for years and now it's $3 billion short. House Democrats want workers to contribute more and get smaller payouts. Teachers held informational pickets this week arguing that "pensions are a promise." But are they? Dom Amato spoke with Joe Brennan, an employment law expert at the Vermont Law School about the divisive issue.
April 01, 2021
Final Reading: Noncitizen school votes are constitutional, House panel says
Emily Simmons told the committee that she did not see a legal issue with the proposed Winooski change.   "These are local, not statewide elections, even though we do have a statewide election fund," Simmons said, insisting there is no constitutional issue in play.   Peter Teachout, a constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, said he had come to a similar conclusion.   "It, just to me, is unrealistic to think that, in any way, by allowing non-U.S. citizens to vote, it will affect a change in the ability of students to receive substantially equal educational opportunity throughout the state,"...
March 25, 2021
The Racist Past of the Filibuster and Why it Should End Now, I'm willing to look at any way we can," Manchin remarked. "But I'm not willing to take away the involvement of the minority." President Joe Biden has refused to publicly discuss whether he would seek an end to the filibuster. Professor Jared Carter, a constitutional law expert at Vermont Law School, said it's time to end the filibuster. He noted that the first filibuster occurred in 1837 and was used infrequently until after the Civil War when minority parties employed the measure to stop civil rights efforts. "It is a relic of reconstruction and Jim Crow South.
March 25, 2021
Are automakers the next climate target in court?
...largest fossil fuel producers contributed nearly 50% of the rise in global average temperature and roughly 30% of global sea-level rise since 1880. "This is really cutting-edge science. We don't have anything like that for auto manufacturers. I don't know how you'd begin," said Pat Parenteau, a professor at Vermont Law School. "But tort lawyers are famous, right? If they smell blood, they go for it," Parenteau added. "There may be some lawyers out there who would take a run at them. I wouldn't rule that out. But I do think the oil companies are in much...
March 23, 2021
SCOTUS Won’t Review Marine Monument Case But Issues Warning (3)
...Antiquities Act, said Lawson Fite, who's involved in the D.C. Circuit case as general counsel of American Forest Resource Council "I find it encouraging that the chief justice is really concerned about executive overreach in this area," he said. "That's been a theme of a lot of the cases." Vermont Law School professor Hillary Hoffmann said the chief justice's concerns likely don't affect national monuments on land, "as those monuments fit squarely within the historic context" of the Antiquities Act. His statement might just amount to a "public grumble," she added, but could embolden some members of...
March 22, 2021
Biden’s New Oil and Gas Lease Pause May Not Apply in This Everglades Preserve
...Collier company's mineral rights — if development would be "detrimental to the purposes of the preserve." Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, Biden's pick to head the agency, told lawmakers in her confirmation hearing that she is committed to upholding the president's climate-forward agenda. According to Hillary Hoffmann at Vermont Law School, that could mean interpreting the president's executive order more broadly to include permits, halting development in Big Cypress. Even if there wasn't an executive order, Hoffmann said, "she would have the authority to hit the pause button" or end the oil debate entirely by exercising...
March 19, 2021
A Question Of Risk: State Agency And Science Panel Disagree On Permit To Protect Bats
...memo to the panel . But "the Agency's position is that there must be a reasonable likelihood (risk) of adverse impact such as injury or harm to the species." More from Brave Little State : If You're Worried About Climate Change, Where Should You Live? Pat Parenteau is a Vermont Law School professor with decades of experience both teaching and litigating endangered species cases. He told the committee that the Vermont law is the strongest in the country. He said Gjessing's interpretation was wrong. "This is a law designed to get in front of injury and harm...
March 18, 2021
A Question Of Risk: State Agency And Science Panel Disagree On Permit To Protect Bats
...memo to the panel . But "the Agency's position is that there must be a reasonable likelihood (risk) of adverse impact such as injury or harm to the species." More from Brave Little State : If You're Worried About Climate Change, Where Should You Live? Pat Parenteau is a Vermont Law School professor with decades of experience both teaching and litigating endangered species cases. He told the committee that the Vermont law is the strongest in the country. He said Gjessing's interpretation was wrong. "This is a law designed to get in front of injury and harm and...ahead. "The only determination here that a permit would not be required would be proof of no harm, no credible threat of harm to the species. That simply doesn't exist... and it would be a precedent that I do not believe would survive judicial review." - Patrick Parenteau, professor at Vermont Law School "The
March 15, 2021
Health insurance for undocumented kids and pregnant moms sought from Legislature
...100 kids age 18 and under and about 22 pregnant women a year. It's also cheap — about $1.4 million a year, according to estimates from the Department of Vermont Health Access. "It's low-cost for the state, but a moral imperative," said Erin Jacobsen, an immigration lawyer and professor at Vermont Law School. It would also provide "an enormously important benefit for the individuals, of which there are just a handful," she said.  Low-income families in Vermont typically get their health insurance through Medicaid, which is paid for by the state and federal governments. Kids age 18 and...
March 11, 2021
Workers Can Refuse the J&J Shot For Religious Reasons (Podcast)
Bloomberg Law Reporter Robert Iafolla discusses whether workers can refuse to take Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine on religious grounds because of its use of cloned fetal cells to make the vaccine. Environmental law professor, Pat Parenteau of the Vermont Law School, discusses the 12 Republican states suing the Biden administration over its climate agenda in a case centering on the 'social cost' of greenhouse gases. June Grasso hosts. Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
March 11, 2021
FDA Releases New Actions Designed to Reduce Toxins in Baby Food
...the food supply extremely seriously, especially when it comes to protecting the health and safety of the youngest and most vulnerable in the population," said Janet Woodcock, FDA's acting commissioner of food and drugs, in its statement. Laurie Beyranevand, director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, notes that while this is an important first step and signals a stronger commitment to address the issue of heavy metals in baby foods than we've seen from FDA over the past few years, these actions are not enough. "A few years ago, FDA convened...
March 11, 2021
$2 billion settlement likely excludes migrant workers exposed to Roundup
...Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion — denies that Roundup causes cancer. In 2015, the World Health Organization said that glyphosate was likely carcinogenic, but under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency disagreed. In spite of these disagreements, legal expert Jennifer Rushlow, associate dean for environmental programs at Vermont Law School, said previous litigation laid the foundation for the current settlement. In 2018, a California jury awarded $289 million to Dwayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper who had terminal cancer.   "The jury was convinced that Roundup caused this man's cancer, and that was something that had...
March 07, 2021
Drivers, dealerships and mechanics adapt as electric vehicles trickle into the Upper Valley
...perform well in northern New England's harsh winter weather. "A year ago when talking about EVs, I was excited about it but I wasn't as confident we were going to be able to ramp up as quickly as I now think we will," said Jenny Carter, assistant professor at Vermont Law School and a staff attorney with the Institute for Energy and the Environment, which is advising the town of Hartford on policies to foster EV ownership and use. "But the dominoes seem to be in place and are starting to fall." The future of EVs has...
March 06, 2021
Georgia Election Case Against Trump Enters New Chapter
...requesting documents and information.  One expert says the former president could face a felony charge. "That phone call to the Georgia secretary of state really looks like there could have been possible solicitation to commit election fraud, which is under Georgia state law, a felony," said Jared Carter of Vermont Law School. "So this is a very serious crime." A Trump adviser  has said  there was nothing improper about the call. For full election coverage visit Election 2020 .
March 04, 2021
Salisbury votes to defund mosquito district, Endangered Species Committee recommends special permit
...Bridport, Cornwall, and Weybridge. Both are next to one another, both get $70,000 annually from the state for larvicide. The BLSG pays for its own adulticide chemicals with funds from the towns it serves. Mason Overstreet, staff attorney and assistant professor of law at the Environmental Advocacy Clinic at Vermont Law School, said that in 2019, a loose, informal coalition of environmental groups presented a report done by Arrowwood Environmental to the Vermont Endangered Species Committee showing that there is a high likelihood that five endangered bat species are being impacted by the BLSG's spraying of adulticide,...
March 03, 2021