United States v. Riverside Bayview Homes

Secondary Discussion Question 1 (supplemental)

John McPhee, Oliver Houck, and the Corps


Below is the cover of the paperback edition of John McPhee's The Control of Nature.  

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The other major parts of the book examine efforts by an Icelandic community to turn back a lava flow that threatens them by continuously dousing it with water and efforts by various authorities in southern California to keep hillside areas in Los Angeles from being inundated by a sudden outpouring of mud.

The book's portrayal of the Corps is not wildly flattering.  The same portion of the book spends a fair amount of time describing one Oliver Houck, a law professor at Tulane University who is opposed to the Corps' efforts regarding the Mississippi River's course.  Interestingly, Houck has both served as General Counsel of one of the filers of an amicus brief in this case (the National Wildlife Federation) and published a very lengthy criticism of conservative litigation-oriented organizations, quite specifically including one of the other organizations filing an amicus brief in this case (the Pacific Legal Foundation).

Visit the Web site of the National Wildlife Federation or of the Pacific Legal Foundation.

Visit the discussion on this site of the amicus briefs in this case.

[[Go to Houck's article arguing that conservative litigation-oriented organizations do not in fact meet the requirements set forth by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for tax-exempt status of charitable organizations.  Oliver A. Houck, "With Charity for All," 93 Yale Law Journal 1419 (1984).]]