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Month: March 2015

March 31, 2015

Inequality and housing

A new economic theory indicates that land use restrictions have worsened wealth inequality. Normally, we shouldn’t fret too much over wealth inequality from natural market forces. After all, free exchanges of goods and services between consenting adults are just, even if the resulting distribution is unequal. Moreover, free markets tend to ...

March 31, 2015

New York Court of Appeals orders Buffalo firefighters case to trial

In 2007, twelve firefighters sued the City of Buffalo after they were denied promotions because of their race. Each of the firefighters performed well on the competitive examination, earned a place on the resulting certified eligible list, and received a notice of appointment to a promotional position. No promotions were made. The City’s Civ ...

March 31, 2015

Public contracting should be based on transparency, not race

Last week's unfortunate ruling by a federal judge tossing out a case against government discrimination shows just how entrenched racial preferences have become.  In Midwest Fence v. United States Department of Transportation, a small guard rail installation subcontractor submitted the lowest bids on multiple highway construction contracts in Illi ...

March 30, 2015

Supreme Court won’t hear case challenging Obamacare’s “Platonic Guardians”

This morning, the Supreme Court declined to review the case challenging the constitutionality of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB. This is the group of unelected bureaucrats given authority to set Medicare reimbursement rates, whose "recommendations" automatically become law without any involvement by Congress, the President, or the ...

March 30, 2015

Is Chief Justice Roberts anti-environment?

To honor Chief Justice Robert’s first decade on the Supreme Court — more like castigate him — the Constitutional Accountability Center has released a series of papers on the court’s jurisprudence. The most recent of which addresses the court’s environmental cases. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the paper reveals more about th ...

March 27, 2015

Victory in Sansotta v. Town of Nags Head

We are thrilled to report that former PLF client, Roc Sansotta, has reached a settlement agreement with the Town of Nags Head, North Carolina, to the tune of $1.5 million! Under the agreement, the Town will essentially buy Sansotta's beachfront property and cottages, and tear them down to make the land part of the public beach. ...

March 27, 2015

President's weekly report — March 27, 2015

Eminent domain — New Jersey Supreme Court abandons precedent In this 3-2 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the use of eminent domain in 62-64 Main Street v. Mayor and City Council of the City of Hackensack.  The question here is how much blight is just pretext and how much is really enough to justify condemning ...

March 27, 2015

State and local Indiana governments are hungry

The shoreline of the Great Lakes has given rise to many interesting property rights disputes between property owners and hungry governments looking to take private property without obeying the Constitution. Add the case of LBLHA, LLC, v. Town of Long Beach, Indiana, to that list. The states bordering the Great Lakes have a history of trying to ...

March 27, 2015

PLF files amicus brief in Oregon “right of access” case

In Oregon—as in most states—a landowner whose property abuts a highway has a right to directly access that road. Thus, an abutting owner is entitled to just compensation when the state acquires the landowner's right of access in an eminent domain action. Or at least that's how the story is supposed to go. ...

March 27, 2015

Judge again refuses to toss Duarte Nursery's due process claims in PLF suit

In Duarte v. Corps of Engineers, the trial court has, for the second time, denied a motion by the federal government to dismiss Duarte Nursery’s claims for violation of the Due Process Clause against the Army Corps of Engineers. Over two years ago, the Army Corps ordered Duarte off its farm over alleged violations of the ...

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