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California Comes Out Swinging: From Monsanto to Trump

"California is not turning back. Not now, not ever."

- Gov. Jerry Brown in his State of the State address on Jan. 24

There's no shortage of stories in the news about California's take on our current political situation, which, in general, is inextricably tied to a number of legal issues. The Roundup story below has nothing to do with the Trump administration. The second does, of course, and it's about the construction of a border wall in this state.

These stories are loosely related, in that they demonstrate California's stand for individual rights and for the environment.

Does Roundup cause cancer?

California wants warning labels that say so.

And that's a problem for Monsanto, the chemical company that makes Roundup, which contends that Roundup does not cause cancer, as per an Associated Press report: "Monsanto rejects any health risk of its top-selling herbicide." As such, the company has sued to stop California from putting warning labels on its product.

Today will mark another step in the evolution of this case, in which the presiding judge may grant California's motion to dismiss Monsanto's suit. If that happens, California's efforts to add warning labels on Roundup will continue. Meanwhile, many plaintiffs have sued Monsanto, making claims of personal injury and wrongful death.

Will California's environmental laws stop Trump's border wall?

That's the question posed by the Los Angeles Times, and Times reporter Liam Dillon hedges a no. Dillon argues that California's "famously stringent environmental laws" likely won't be enough to stop construction of a border wall in the state. He cites comments from legal experts who generally claim that there's already plenty of precedent in the feds' favor, which doesn't bode well for those who might leverage our environmental laws to stop construction.

To sum it up: Recent court rulings have asserted that the federal government has broad authority to build walls, and that this authority overrides state environmental law, especially when it comes to immigration and national security.

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