News Alert: July 27, 2015 at 4:37 PM

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SPOTLIGHT

1. DROUGHT:

Takings arguments bubble up as Calif. cuts water rights

In drought-stricken California, lawyers are asking a simple question with a complicated answer: Can the state take away water rights? At issue is the U.S. Constitution's 5th Amendment, which says no property shall be taken without just compensation. If California gets more aggressive in requiring irrigation districts -- and particularly so-called senior rights holders, whose claim to divert and use water dates back more than a century -- to curtail water use, some property rights lawyers think they can sue the state.

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