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Author: Brian T. Hodges

December 05, 2018

PLF asks the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Penn Central

Forty years ago, in Penn Central Transp.  Co. v. City of New York (1978), the U.S. Supreme Court explained that regulatory takings cases are "essentially ad hoc, factual inquiries" wherein courts are instructed to consider a number of case specific factors, including "the economic impact of the regulation on the claimant;" "the extent to which ...

September 19, 2018

Do agency proceedings strip us of our constitutional rights?

The tendency for courts to broadly defer to agency decisions frustrates the judiciary's core function as the adjudicative branch of government. Such deference also frustrates individual rights by sweeping constitutional guarantees under the rug. Take, for example, Washington State's Growth Management Hearing Board. The legislature created the agenc ...

August 07, 2018

This monkey got his day in court. Property owners still can’t.

Why should a monkey receive more protection from the federal courts than a property owner? Robert Thomas of inversecondemnation.com asks that question in a poignant and humorous friend of the court brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of PLF client, Rose Mary Knick. A bit of background is necessary. ...

August 02, 2018

Seattle asks the Washington Supreme Court to rewrite the law to allow a tax on success

Washington State boasts one of the most protective constitutions in the nation. Among its unique provisions, the Uniformity Clause protects individuals from discriminatory taxation by requiring that any taxes be imposed in a uniform manner. In addition to that, the state legislature, long ago, passed a law forbidding cities and counties from taxing ...

July 11, 2018

Kelo revisited

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment promises that the government will not take private property unless it is for a valid public use and the owner is fully compensated. And yet, we all know that Kelo v. City of New London, Conn. (2005) allowed a Connecticut city to condemn a middle class neighborhood for private ...

July 09, 2018

PLF asks the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that there is no “legislative exception” to the unconstitutional conditions doctrine

It seems that some governments and courts prefer to treat Supreme Court precedent as an option, rather than a requirement. The Supreme Court has ruled—twice—that it's unconstitutional for government to charge permitting fees when the fees have nothing to do with the reason for the permit. Yet some courts continue to ignore the Constitution. Per ...

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