Our society is made up of “haves” and “have-nots.”
The disparity is glaringly evident in the legal profession. Just ask ordinary people about how much they incurred in fees and costs when they needed to hire a lawyer. Like other aspects of life, the wealthy can and do use the legal system to their advantage. Wealthy people sue not-so-wealthy people and large companies sue small companies, knowing full well that their resources give them an advantage in a system that requires you to pay to play.
It’s with this recognition that I have to wonder about what I see as a steady stream of complaints about CEQA abuse. First off, let’s be clear about one thing: I don’t think most people making these complaints are really concerned about the effects of CEQA itself. It isn’t like “elder abuse” or “spousal abuse” – the people complaining are normally trying to reduce CEQA’s reach (if not gut it entirely). In other words, the ones complaining don’t seem to have CEQA’s health on their agenda.
The complainers challenge the motives of those who file CEQA cases, claiming some are merely motivated by money or other non-environmental concerns. It’s as if there’s some altruism requirement to filing a CEQA case. But who’s to decide what motivations are altruistic enough?