California Supreme Court rules against Rinehart

California Supreme Court rules against Rinehart By Brad Jones

The Supreme Court of California has ruled against suction dredge mining in the People v. Rinehart case. The court opinion was handed down this morning at 10 a.m. “We conclude the state’s moratorium is not preempted. The federal laws Rinehart relies upon reflect a congressional intent to afford prospectors secure possession of, and in some instances title to, the places that they mine,” the court stated. “But while Congress sought to protect miners’ real property interests, it did not go further and guarantee them a right to mine immunized from the exercises of the states’ police powers. We reverse the Court of Appeal.” Mining groups, including Public Lands for the People and the American Mining Rights Association and the Western Mining Alliance, are disappointed with the court opinion released Monday, Aug. 22.


Mining Legend leaves Legacy of Hope

PLP President Jerry Hobbs dead at 71

GPAA, Brad Jones, 12/31/2014

Public Lands for the People President Jerry Hobbs has died. He passed away Dec. 28, after a long battle with kidney and heart disease. He was 71.

Gerald Hobbs, better known as Jerry, was a legend in the mining community, and the founder of PLP, a land rights advocacy group. The membership-based, non-profit organization was established in 1990 and has been fighting to keep public lands open for multiple uses, including prospecting and mining, ever since.


MINING RIGHTS: Court battle hinges on Supremacy Clause

GPAA, Brad Jones, 12/15/2014

Ochoa clears legal hurdles, set to rule in California dredging case

Miners and their opponents squared off again in California Superior Court Dec. 12 to make their cases for and against suction dredging mining in California. 

The hearing was part of the ongoing Mandatory Settlement Conference that Judge Gilbert Ochoa ordered May 1 last year in an attempt to resolve the legal battle over suction dredge mining, which was banned by the state more than five years ago.
Miners argue that the state has no authority to ban suction dredge mining under the federal Mining Law of 1872 and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which declares that federal law is the supreme law of the land. 
The settlement conference is the culmination of years of litigation involving more than a half-dozen or so consolidated lawsuits that are being heard by Ochoa in San Bernardino.
Ironically, a separate case, the Brandon Rinehart case has become pivotal in the decision.
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