Legal: Holding Power to Account

What We Believe

The Niskanen Center’s legal team utilizes litigation and administrative proceedings to hold government leaders, agencies, and large corporations across the country accountable. We defend landowners from eminent domain abuse by oil and gas pipeline companies that seek to seize their land; work to enhance governmental transparency by using open records laws like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); and represent local governments suing fossil fuel producers for the increased cost of public services caused by climate change.

Ongoing Cases

Protecting Property Owners from Pipeline Eminent Domain Abuse

Niskanen’s litigation project is working around the country to protect landowners from abuse by and gas pipeline companies that seek to seize their land. Explore cases.

Holding Fossil Fuel Producers Responsible for Climate Nuisance

Niskanen is representing Boulder County, San Miguel County, and the City of Boulder in one of the groundbreaking climate nuisance cases. Like similar suits brought by New York City, San Francisco, Baltimore, etc., this case seeks to hold fossil fuel producers liable for the costs their products are imposing on local governments. Explore cases.

Making Government More Transparent

Niskanen works to make government more transparent by using open records laws such as the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about the operations and activities of government entities, and to ensure that those entities are meeting their statutory and constitutional obligations. As part of Niskanen’s Energy Sector & Landowner Transparency Project, Niskanen files records requests and litigates on behalf of landowners and nonprofit organizations, in order to increase the transparency around government activities related to pipelines and the energy sector. Explore cases.

Past Cases

Fighting Donald Trump’s Constitutional Abuses

The Border Wall: The President’s Phony “National Emergency: ” In February 2019 the President proclaimed a “National Emergency” on the U.S. – Mexico border. This was an attempt to build the border wall with money Congress had expressly appropriated for other purposes. As part of a coalition of lawyers, Niskanen represented El Paso County and the Border Human Rights Network in a case against the President for violating the Appropriations Clause, the National Emergencies Act, and other statutory and Constitutional provisions. Explore cases.

The Emoluments Clause: The President is Open For Business: The Niskanen Center was involved in three of the cases filed against the former President for accepting illegal payments from foreign governments through their patronage of the Trump International Hotel in Washington and other properties. Explore cases.

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