May 25, 2018

Options for Supreme Court on Trump travel ban

26 June 2017, 01:58 | Guillermo Sutton

The 5-3 ruling on Friday involved the Murr family's effort to sell part of its land along the St. Croix River. According to a 1975 local ordinance, the Murrs couldn't do anything with the land because they owned the adjacent lot, which contains the family's summer cabin. Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee who was confirmed in April, is taking part in the highest-profile issue yet in his three months on the court. A Wisconsin appeals court sided with the county, saying zoning rules did not take away the property's value because the Murrs could still use both lots as a vacation property or sell them as a whole. "We are disappointed that the Court did not recognize the fundamental unfairness to the Murrs of having their separate properties combined, simply to avoid the protection of the takings clause". The ruling could make it harder for property owners to prove compensation claims.

With the decision to hear this appeal announced Monday, many observers are hopeful that the Court will be receptive to concretely limiting partisan gerrymandering using measures of partisan symmetry.

The Constitution bars the taking of private property by the government without just compensation.

The circuit court found that the Murrs' claim was time-barred because the ordinance had immediate economic effects when it was enacted in the mid-1970s.

"It declined to limit the parcel in an artificial manner or to limit what constitutes property interests to those established by state laws".

"Like the ultimate question [of] whether a regulation has gone too far, the question of the proper parcel in regulatory takings cases can not be solved by any simple test", he wrote.

"Treating the lot in question as a single parcel is legitimate for purposes of this takings inquiry, and this supports the conclusion that no regulatory taking occurred here", Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

So after the Murrs transferred the lots to their four children in the 1990s, the younger Murrs were denied permission to build on the second lot.

There's a warning here for property owners.

"Even though we think the efficiency gap is the best of [partisan symmetry] metrics, we're advocating a set of them to the Court".

GOP senators now oppose health care bill as written
The bill would replace its individual insurance coverage with new subsidies and requirements and cut federal funding for Medicaid. AARP is already on record against the Senate bill, citing what it calls an "age tax" as well as cuts to Medicaid.

Wisconsin courts had upheld the restrictions.

This case, therefore, places the "denominator problem" of regulatory takings at issue - the justices had to explain how courts should determine what unit of property the government's action should be judged against.

"In my view, it would be desirable for us to take a fresh look at our regulatory takings jurisprudence, to see whether it can be grounded in the original public meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment or the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment", he said.

The lot they own next door as an investment they believed would someday pay for re-doing or re-building that house. Each of the Murrs' lots is roughly 1.25 acres, but because of the water and a steep bluff, neither, alone, has a whole acre of buildable area. They hoped to sell the empty lot to finance a renovation.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled against a Wisconsin family and in favor of the government in a case that pitted property rights against environmental concerns.

Chief Justice John Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Roberts wrote that he's not troubled by the majority's holding.

The rules were created to prevent too much development along the St. Croix River.

Though a conservative nominated by former President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy is regarded as a more moderate justice who "has always resisted easy categorization", as the New York Times' Adam Cohen put it in 2006, when Kennedy's role increased shortly after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired. "Instead, the court should have asked whether, under general state law principles, Lots E and F are legally distinct parcels of land".

He would let state law define the boundaries of parcels in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

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