E&E Daily interviewed Manatt's Michael Berger, co-chair of the firm's Appellate practice, for an article on whether drought-stricken California can take away water rights.
If the state gets more aggressive in requiring irrigation districts to curtail water use, lawyers think that the state can be sued under the U.S. Constitution's 5th Amendment, which says no property shall be taken without just compensation.
"If these water districts have vested, pre-existing rights that are more than 100 years old, those are legitimate property rights," said Berger. "I don't think the government can take that away."
Read the article here.