Takings Clause

Whither the 2016-17 Court on Environmental Cases?

Docket so far limited to a significant takings case, Murr v. Wisconsin

So far, the docket for the U.S. Supreme Court’s term beginning in October includes no significant statutory environmental case.  It does include an important takings case that could limit or expand the land use powers of all levels of  government to protect wetlands, endangered species habitat, and other ecologically sensitive parcels.  Whether the Court ultimately …

CONTINUE READING

San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Dodges Supreme Court Bullet

Justices Deny Review of California Supreme Court Decision Upholding San Jose Measure

Advocates of the City of San Jose’s controversial inclusionary housing ordinance, which was upheld in a 2015 California Supreme Court decision, are breathing a sigh of relief this week.  That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the California Building Industry Association’s petition for certiorari in the case.  But the available evidence suggests that the High Court …

CONTINUE READING

The Puzzling Persistence of Takings Litigation

Litigation rates dropped by only a little even when the real estate market collapsed.

Takings litigation is a bit of a puzzle. You would expect the amount of litigation to go up and down depending on the situation in the real estate market.  If there’s a lot of new construction, there are more opportunities for conflict between developers and regulators.  And if prices are high, so are the economic stakes, …

CONTINUE READING

Roy Cohn and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

“Who Are Those Guys?”

I don’t care what the law says. I want to know who the judge is. — Roy M. Cohn I basically agree with Jim’s and Dan’s assessments of the substantive provisions of the TPP when it comes to environmental issues. (I have real problems with the Intellectual Property provisions, but that is another matter). For …

CONTINUE READING

Evangelicals Versus Property Rights

Guess who invented the idea that property rights evolve with changing social values?

Today, evangelical Christians tend to be aligned with conservatives in defense of private property. But that was not always true. In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, evangelicals launched a major attack on property rights. As historian John Compton documents in a recent book, they also adopted the idea of the “living Constitution” to justify …

CONTINUE READING

California Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Housing Ordinance

Unanimous Court Rejects Developers’ Takings Challenge to San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Measure

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision issued today, rejected state developers’ efforts to nullify the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance.  That decision, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, is critically important for both state land use policy and for constitutional principles governing private property rights and the proper scope …

CONTINUE READING

Property Rights and California Raisins: Headed to the Supreme Court–Again

Justices To Rule on Whether Feds’ Depression-Era Agricultural Regulations Unconstitutionally “Take” Farmers’ Property Without Compensation

The media and U.S. Supreme Court watchers have understandably focused on the justices’ order yesterday agreeing to review the constitutionality of state same-sex marriage bans–automatically making it the “blockbuster” issue before the Court this Term.  Largely overshadowed by that news was the justices’ contemporaneous decision to revisit the interrelated issues of property rights, the Takings …

CONTINUE READING

In Harm’s Way

Millions of people are in the path of rising seas. The time for action is now.

The NY Times has run a series of articles in the past few days dealing with disaster issues.  Taken together, they highlight the urgency of government action to protect populations in harm’s way. One article dealt generally with the threat posed by sea level rise. Miami is something of a poster-child for these problems, given its …

CONTINUE READING

Supreme Court Rules for Property Owner in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District

The U.S. Supreme Court today decided Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District. But unlike the previous two, unanimous Takings Clause rulings issued this Term by the justices in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States and Horne v. Department of Agriculture, the decision in Koontz reflected a sharply divided Court, in a …

CONTINUE READING

U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Property Owners–Again

Observers continue to await the third and most significant property rights case on the Supreme Court’s docket this Term–Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District–which should be released later this week.  In the meantime, another property rights case was decided by the justices earlier this month that, while largely overlooked by the media, represents …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING