You are here

2013-01

January 14, 2013

At the heart of almost every takings clause case is the question of whether landowners have an absolute right to use their property as they see fit, or whether the government can impose limits designed to mitigate the cost of the development on the community at large. That is the question at the center of Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, which will be heard next Tuesday by the Supreme Court. The resolution of this case will reveal a great deal about how the Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. will strike this balance. 

January 14, 2013

To understand why this ludicrous claim has not been laughed out of court, you have to shift from Wall Street to the land development world and to a decades-old "property rights" movement that has pushed to expand the scope of the Takings Clause. The next big Supreme Court case dealing with these issues -- indeed, the most important such case to be reviewed by the Court since John Roberts became Chief Justice -- Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, will be argued tomorrow. This case has been spearheaded by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a conservative group that has worked for decades to turn the Takings Clause into a constitutional barrier to environmental protection.

January 14, 2013

To understand why this ludicrous claim has not been laughed out of court, you have to shift from Wall Street to the land development world and to a decades-old "property rights" movement that has pushed to expand the scope of the Takings Clause. The next big Supreme Court case dealing with these issues -- indeed, the most important such case to be reviewed by the Court since John Roberts became Chief Justice -- Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, will be argued tomorrow. This case has been spearheaded by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a conservative group that has worked for decades to turn the Takings Clause into a constitutional barrier to environmental protection.

January 10, 2013

Could a film alter the course of Supreme Court history? If the justices take a trip to their local movie theaters to see "Lincoln," Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-nominated film just might. Rather than focusing mainly on the famous battles, famous generals, or even the Civil War itself, "Lincoln" showcases the hard-fought struggle over the Thirteenth Amendment and highlights some of the forgotten leaders who led the ratification fight. It is this focus on an essential - and essentially lost - part of our constitutional history that makes Spielberg's film so perfectly timed and potentially significant.

January 10, 2013

Could a film alter the course of Supreme Court history? If the justices take a trip to their local movie theaters to see "Lincoln," Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-nominated film just might. Rather than focusing mainly on the famous battles, famous generals, or even the Civil War itself, "Lincoln" showcases the hard-fought struggle over the Thirteenth Amendment and highlights some of the forgotten leaders who led the ratification fight. It is this focus on an essential - and essentially lost - part of our constitutional history that makes Spielberg's film so perfectly timed and potentially significant.