I love how audacious C-WIN is, and am glad they’re out there. They’re taking on the right issues, and often go straight to the heart of them. These are all from memory, so I don’t know if I have them exactly right, but suing the State Board to define and enforce reasonable and beneficial use, challenging the big project contracts, getting DWR to take environmental documentation seriously –those are all great. I would love it if they could wrest the Kern Water Bank back from private ownership. They’re right; the state should own and operate that reservoir. I love that they’re raising the real hard questions and I usually hope they’ll win. I don’t even mind that they’re litigious; bad as courts are for deciding complex multi-party questions, it isn’t like we’ve got a better forum here.
That said, their legal complaints kinda kill me. I’m not a lawyer and they are, so presumably they know what they’re doing better than I do. They’ve won a fair number of their CEQA cases, I believe. But when their grounds for complaint is, like, the Constitution, dude, I start thinking about pro se defendents waving a copy of the Bill of Rights at a judge. “It says right here…” They may well be right that some of our big practices aren’t Constitutional. But they are well ingrained. Getting a judge to up-end big pieces of our system sounds hard, especially on broad Constitutional principles. Glad they’re doing the work, but it looks like an uphill battle to me.