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Community Rights Counsel
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Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895

Judge Smith's Rulings and Legal Philosophy

Judge D. Brooks Smith first came to the attention of Community Rights Counsel because of a truly disturbing takings ruling he issued in 1995. In a case involving the Coal Industry and Retiree Health Benefit Act, he ruled that forcing a company to pay benefits to retired miners, benefits that they rightly earned, would constitute an illegal taking of that company's property -- this interpretation was rejected by other courts.

CRC also uncovered and brought to light a speech that Judge Smith gave to the Federalist Society in 1993 where he took an extraordinarily narrow view of the federal government's Commerce Clause authority to protect the environment. For more on the Commerce Clause, read Chapter 2 in our Hostile Environment report.

For a good summary of the merits case on Judge Smith, see the recent lead editorial in The New York Times, dated May 22, 2002.

To read a memo regarding D. Brooks Smith and equal access to justice, click here.

For more on the opposition by various organizations to D. Brooks Smith, click here.


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