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Riparian Rights
Riparian water rights (or simply riparian rights) is a system for allocating water among those who possess land along its path. It has its origins in English common law. Riparian water rights exist in many jurisdictions with a common law heritage, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and states in the eastern United States. Common land ownership can be organized into a partition unit, a corporation consisting of the landowners on the shore that formally owns the water area and determines its use. General principle Under the riparian principle, all landowners whose properties adjoin a body of water have the right to make reasonable use of it as it flows through or over their properties. If there is not enough water to satisfy all users, allotments are generally fixed in proportion to frontage on the water source. These rights cannot be sold or transferred other than with the adjoining land and only in reasonable quantities associated with that land. The water cannot be ...
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Common Law
In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky, but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi sovereign that can be identified," ''Southern Pacific Company v. Jensen'', 244 U.S. 205, 222 (1917) (Oliver Wendell Holmes, dissenting). By the early 20th century, legal professionals had come to reject any idea of a higher or natural law, or a law above the law. The law arises through the act of a sovereign, whether that sovereign speaks through a legislature, executive, or judicial officer. The defining characteristic of common law is that it arises as precedent. Common law courts look to the past decisions of courts to synthesize the legal principles of past cases. '' Stare decisis'', the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules ...
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Public Trust
The concept of public trust relates back to the origins of democratic government and its seminal idea that within the public lies the true power and future of a society; therefore, whatever ''trust'' citizens place in its officials must be respected. One of the reasons that bribery is regarded as a notorious evil is that it contributes to a culture of political corruption in which public trust is eroded. Other issues related to political corruption or betrayal of public trust are lobbying, special interest groups and the public cartel. United States In the United States "Public Trust" is a term of art referring to any public property which belongs to the whole of the people. Initially it was used within the formation of the government to refer to politicians who achieve power by election. In the United States Constitution, all members of Congress as well as the President, and Vice President are elected seats therein. The first state constitution drafted in the United States was th ...
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Common Law
In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky, but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi sovereign that can be identified," ''Southern Pacific Company v. Jensen'', 244 U.S. 205, 222 (1917) (Oliver Wendell Holmes, dissenting). By the early 20th century, legal professionals had come to reject any idea of a higher or natural law, or a law above the law. The law arises through the act of a sovereign, whether that sovereign speaks through a legislature, executive, or judicial officer. The defining characteristic of common law is that it arises as precedent. Common law courts look to the past decisions of courts to synthesize the legal principles of past cases. '' Stare decisis'', the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules ...
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Air Rights
Air rights are the property interest in the "space" above the earth's surface. Generally speaking, owning, or renting, land or a building includes the right to use and build in the space above the land without interference by others. This legal concept is encoded in the Latin phrase ''Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos'' ("''Whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell''."), which appears in medieval Roman law and is credited to 13th-century glossator Accursius; it was notably popularized in common law in '' Commentaries on the Laws of England'' (1766) by William Blackstone; see origins of phrase for details. Air travel Property rights defined by points on the ground once extended indefinitely upward. This notion remained unchallenged before air travel became popular in the early 20th century. To promote air transport, legislators established a public easement for transit at high altitudes, regardless of real estate ownership. ...
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Submerged Lands Act
The Submerged Lands Act of 1953 is a U.S. federal law that recognized the title of the states to submerged navigable lands within their boundaries at the time they entered the Union. They include navigable waterways, such as rivers, as well as marine waters within the state's boundaries, generally three geographical mile The geographical mile is a unit of length determined by 1 minute of arc along the Earth's equator. For the international ellipsoid 1924 this equalled 1855.4 metres. ''The American Practical Navigator'' 2017 defines the geographical mile as . Gre ...s (almost exactly ) from the coastline. The Submerged Lands Act of 1953 was immediately followed by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Under the latter, the Secretary of the Interior is responsible for the administration of mineral exploration and development of the Outer Continental Shelf (O.C.S.). The Secretary of the Interior is empowered to grant leases to the highest qualified responsible bidder and to for ...
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Wetlands
A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded or saturated by water, either permanently (for years or decades) or seasonally (for weeks or months). Flooding results in oxygen-free (anoxic) processes prevailing, especially in the soils. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from terrestrial land forms or Body of water, water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique anoxic hydric soils. Wetlands are considered among the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal species. Methods for assessing wetland functions, wetland ecological health, and general wetland condition have been developed for many regions of the world. These methods have contributed to wetland conservation partly by raising public awareness of the functions some wetlands provide. Wetlands occur naturally on every continent. The water in wetlands is either freshwater, brackish or saltwater. The main wetland t ...
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Equal Footing Doctrine
The equal footing doctrine, also known as equality of the states, is the principle in United States constitutional law that all states admitted to the Union under the Constitution since 1789 enter on equal footing with the 13 states already in the Union at that time. The Constitution grants to Congress the power to admit new states in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1, which states: In each act of admission since that of Tennessee in 1796, Congress has specified that the new state joins the Union "on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever". Previously, when Vermont was admitted in 1791, its act of admission said Vermont was to be "a new and entire member" of the United States. Background At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, a proposal to include the phrase, "new States shall be admitted on the same terms with the original States", was defeated. It was feared that the political power of future new western states would eventually overwhelm that of th ...
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Equal Footing
The equal footing doctrine, also known as equality of the states, is the principle in United States constitutional law that all states admitted to the Union under the Constitution since 1789 enter on equal footing with the 13 states already in the Union at that time. The Constitution grants to Congress the power to admit new states in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1, which states: In each act of admission since that of Tennessee in 1796, Congress has specified that the new state joins the Union "on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever". Previously, when Vermont was admitted in 1791, its act of admission said Vermont was to be "a new and entire member" of the United States. Background At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, a proposal to include the phrase, "new States shall be admitted on the same terms with the original States", was defeated. It was feared that the political power of future new western states would eventually overwhelm that of th ...
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System. It also claims to be the oldest appellate court in the United States, a claim that is disputed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania began in 1684 as the Provincial Court, and casual references to it as the "Supreme Court" of Pennsylvania were made official in 1722 upon its reorganization as an entity separate from the control of the royal governor. Today, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania maintains a discretionary docket, meaning that the Court may choose which cases it accepts, with the exception of mandatory death penalty appeals, and certain appeals from the original jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court. This discretion allows the Court to wield powerful influence on the formation and interpretation of Pennsylvania law. History The Original Pennsylvania constitutions, drafted by William Penn, established a Provi ...
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Clean Water Rule
The Clean Water Rule is a 2015 regulation published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to clarify water resource management in the United States under a provision of the Clean Water Act of 1972.U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Clean Water Rule: Definition of 'Waters of the United States'." Final Rule. ''Federal Register,'' . 2015-06-29. The regulation defined the scope of federal water protection in a more consistent manner, particularly over streams and wetlands which have a significant hydrological and ecological connection to traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, and territorial seas. It is also referred to as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which defines all bodies of water that fall under U.S. federal jurisdiction. The rule was published in response to concerns about lack of clarity over the act's scope from legislators at multiple levels, ...
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Clean Water Act Of 1972
The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Its objective is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters; recognizing the responsibilities of the states in addressing pollution and providing assistance to states to do so, including funding for publicly owned treatment works for the improvement of wastewater treatment; and maintaining the integrity of wetlands.Jim Hanlon, Mike Cook, Mike Quigley, Bob Wayland“Water Quality: A Half Century of Progress.”EPA Alumni Association. March 2016. The Clean Water Act was one of the United States' first and most influential modern environmental laws. Its laws and regulations are primarily administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in coordination with state governments, though some of its provisions, such as those involving filling or dredging, are administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Its implementin ...
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Equitable Servitude
An equitable servitude is a term used in the law of real property to describe a nonpossessory interest in land that operates much like a covenant running with the land. In England and Wales the term is defunct and in Scotland it has very long been a sub-type of the Scottish legal version of servitudes, which are what English law calls easements. However covenants and equitable servitudes in most of the jurisdictions across North America, are slightly different. The usual distinction is based on the remedy plaintiff seeks and precedent will allow for the scenario in question. Where the terms are unmerged, holders of a ''covenant'' seek ''money'' damages; holders of ''equitable servitudes'' seek ''injunctions''. The term used to exist in England widely before '' Tulk v Moxhay'' and as byproduct of the Judicature Acts became one of the fullest mergers of equity and common law in England and Wales so as to agree initially on the term "equitable covenant", then coming to be united ...
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