Landowners File Constitutional Challenge to Bayou Bridge's Claim to Eminent Domain in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin
Last week, we filed a major legal challenge against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP) on behalf of landowners whose property interests span 38 acres across Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin. BBP is majority-owned by Energy Transfer Partners, the architects of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and is intended to be the southern end of that pipeline. BBP had filed an expropriation lawsuit against the landowners in an attempted land grab, but they—represented by CCR, local co-counsel Misha Mitchell of Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and Bill Quigley—fired back, claiming that this violates their right to due process and right to property under the Constitution. The landowners also countersued BBP for violating their property rights and trespassing, on the basis that the company began construction on their property without the legal right to do so, destroying trees and land in the process.
The challenge refutes the company’s claim that the pipeline is in the public interest—the underlying basis for their power to exercise eminent domain. The landowners' filing details that the pipeline is actually contrary to the public interest—in light of the extensive spill and leak record of the companies involved, the role that pipelines have played in the coastal erosion crisis in Louisiana, and the ways in which reliance on fossil fuels has contributed to climate change.
Tune in to episode 6 of The Activist Files: The Legal Fight of Indigenous Bolivians Who Put Their President on Trial
On the sixth episode of The Activist Files, CCR senior legal worker Leah Todd talks to attorneys Beth Stephens and Judith Chomsky, who both formerly worked at CCR and continue to collaborate as cooperating counsel on key cases. Beth and Judith represent a group of indigenous Bolivians who brought their former president to trial in the United States for ordering a military massacre that killed their family members. Mamani, et al. v. Sánchez de Lozada, a case that has spanned over a decade, went to trial this past spring – representing the first time a former head of state faced trial in the United States for human rights violations. It resulted in an historic guilty and unanimous jury verdict against the former president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada. Stunningly, the judge subsequently overturned the jury verdict, and Beth and Judith are currently working with CCR to appeal. The story of Mamani is an inspiring example of what human rights litigation can achieve, and a demonstration of how, often, we must keep fighting, even after it seems we have won.
Change is Good: New Identity Reveal Party, October 18th, NYC
Celebrate with the Center for Constitutional Rights after our annual Celebrates Changemakers event as we reveal our new look: Thursday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Hudson Mercantile (500 West 36th St., New York, NY. Accessible entrance: 463 10th Ave.) The event will feature a lively interactive and immersive walk through CCR’s past, present, and future. We'll have dancing, swag, heavy hors d'oeuvres and an open bar. We can't wait to see you there! Kindly RSVP by October 11.