August 2021 - 30

LAW REVIEW
State Public Trust Doctrine
As cited by the court, the public
trust doctrine " prohibits a state
from alienating its interest in public
lands submerged beneath navigable
waterways to a private party for private
purposes. " Accordingly, under
the public trust doctrine, the court
acknowledged: " a state may only
alienate publicly owned submerged
land to a private party if the property
will be used in promoting the
interests of the public " or " can be
disposed of without any substantial
impairment of the public interest in
the lands and waters remaining. "
In this case, POP had argued
the City's use agreement with
the Obama Foundation violated
the public trust doctrine
because it transferred control
of public land in Jackson Park
to the private foundation for a
purely private purpose.
While Jackson Park is not a navigable
waterway, the court noted
some states, including Illinois, have
applied the public trust doctrine to
land other than navigable waterways.
As described by the federal
appeals court, the Illinois state supreme
court had provided the following
explanation of the public
trust doctrine under Illinois law:
Once such land has been dedicated
to a public purpose...the
government holds the properties
in trust for the uses and purposes
specified and for the benefit of
the public. Dedication to a public
purpose isn't an irrevocable commitment,
and judicial review of
any reallocation is deferential [to
30 Parks & Recreation | A UGUS T 2 0 2 1
governmental decisions], particularly
if the land in question has
never been submerged.
Nonetheless,
the
doctrine
requires
courts to ensure that the
legislature has made a sufficient
manifestation of legislative intent
to permit the diversion and reallocation
to a more restrictive, less
public use.
In this case, POP had argued
the City's use agreement with the
Obama Foundation violated the
public
trust
doctrine because it
transferred control of public land
in Jackson Park to the private foundation
for a purely private purpose.
Moreover, POP claimed the agreement
was " tainted by self-dealing,
favoritism or conflicts of interest "
because " the City of Chicago had
negotiated with the Obama Foundation
under
the
leadership
Mayor
Rahm Emmanuel,
ident Obama's
of
Presformer
chief of
staff, " who was " eager to give the
Foundation a sweetheart deal. "
Public Trust, Federal
Standing
To establish the " injury in fact " requirement
for standing in federal
court, POP had alleged violation
of the public trust doctrine in Illinois.
As noted by the federal appeals
court, Illinois state courts had
" long recognized the public's injury
from a violation of the public
trust doctrine as sufficient to create
a justiciable controversy. " As a result,
POP claimed this fact would
also establish sufficient injury in
fact to establish standing in federal
court. The federal appeals court rejected
this argument.
As cited by the federal appeals
court, the doctrine of standing,
which is a corollary of Article III's
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
limitation of the " judicial power "
to the resolution of " cases " and
" controversies, " is a matter of federal
law, which cannot be altered or
expanded by state law. Similarly, the
federal appeals court recognized
that " state courts are not bound by
the limitations of a case or controversy
or other federal rules of justiciability "
under Article III. As a result,
the court noted " the states can
empower their courts to hear cases
that federal courts cannot - and
many states have done just that, "
including Illinois.
In Illinois, the federal appeals
court found " a plaintiff can bring
suit under the public trust doctrine
without showing that she will suffer
special damage, different in
degree and kind from that suffered
by the public at large. " Specifically,
in Illinois, the public trust doctrine
would allow " members of the public,
at least taxpayers who are the
beneficiaries of the public trust, "
to " have the right and standing to
enforce it " in state court.
As characterized by the
eral appeals court,
fedIllinois
had,
therefore, " adopted precisely the
opposite of the injury-in-fact requirement
of
federal standing,
which demands that every plaintiff
prove that he seeks relief for an injury
that affects him in a personal
and individual way " :
While Illinois is free to conclude
that plaintiff's rights as residents
in a trust of public lands may be
enforced without question, Article
III doesn't give us the same leeway.
To sue in federal court, a plaintiff
must also demonstrate an injury to
her separate concrete interest.
In this particular instance, the
federal appeals court found POP's
public trust and ultra vires claims

August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2021

August 2021 - Intro
August 2021 - Cover1
August 2021 - Cover2
August 2021 - 1
August 2021 - 2
August 2021 - 3
August 2021 - 4
August 2021 - 5
August 2021 - 6
August 2021 - 7
August 2021 - 8
August 2021 - 8a
August 2021 - 8b
August 2021 - 9
August 2021 - 10
August 2021 - 11
August 2021 - 12
August 2021 - 13
August 2021 - 14
August 2021 - 15
August 2021 - 16
August 2021 - 17
August 2021 - 18
August 2021 - 19
August 2021 - 20
August 2021 - 21
August 2021 - 22
August 2021 - 23
August 2021 - 24
August 2021 - 25
August 2021 - 26
August 2021 - 27
August 2021 - 28
August 2021 - 29
August 2021 - 30
August 2021 - 31
August 2021 - 32
August 2021 - 33
August 2021 - 34
August 2021 - 35
August 2021 - 36
August 2021 - 37
August 2021 - 38
August 2021 - 39
August 2021 - 40
August 2021 - 41
August 2021 - 42
August 2021 - 43
August 2021 - 44
August 2021 - 45
August 2021 - 46
August 2021 - 47
August 2021 - 48
August 2021 - 49
August 2021 - 50
August 2021 - 51
August 2021 - 52
August 2021 - 53
August 2021 - 54
August 2021 - 55
August 2021 - 56
August 2021 - Cover3
August 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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