Direct Representation Cases:

Wins

Losses

Total

Sheetz v. County of El Dorado

Supreme Court rules against extortionate permit fees

Once his land was ready and all George needed was a county building permit, he was stunned when told he could have his permit, but only if he paid a so-called traffic impact fee of more than $23,000. George weighed the immense cost against the hard work he put into his land and his yearning for a retirement home, and he paid the fee under protest. ...

sackett property

Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

Supreme Court limits Clean Water Act abuse in victory for property owners

One of the longest-running legal battles in the history of the Clean Water Act doesn’t involve mega-polluters dumping toxic chemicals into America’s major rivers and lakes. Rather, it involves a couple who wanted to build a home on less than an acre of land in a residential neighborhood. And now, that case could have ramifications for p ...

Wil Wilkins walking in mountains

Wilkins v. United States

Government bait-and-switch tramples on property rights and peace of mind

Wil Wilkins and Jane Stanton live next to Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest. A road that crosses both of their properties is the result of a limited-use easement granted to the U.S. Forest Service by the properties’ previous owners in 1962. The general public is not supposed to use the road, but in 2006 the Forest Service began adver ...

Beautiful Home in Minneapolis

Tyler v. Hennepin County

Victory! Supreme Court declares home equity theft unconstitutional

On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court announced a unanimous decision in favor of Geraldine, ruling that home equity theft violates the Takings Clase of the Fifth Amendment. The Court explained that property rights are fundamental and cannot be erased by a state statute that redefines them out of existence. “The taxpayer must render unto Caesar w ...

Sheetz v. County of El Dorado

Supreme Court rules against extortionate permit fees

Once his land was ready and all George needed was a county building permit, he was stunned when told he could have his permit, but only if he paid a so-called traffic impact fee of more than $23,000. George weighed the immense cost against the hard work he put into his land and his yearning for a retirement home, and he paid the fee under protest. ...

Separation of Powers
Separation of Powers
January 26, 2024 2024-01-26
Supreme Court of the United States
Separation of Powers
This Court should overrule Chevron.
Separation of Powers
July 17, 2023 2023-07-17
Supreme Court of the United States
Separation of Powers
November 17, 2023 2023-11-17
Supreme Court of the United States
Property Rights
"Government exists to protect individual rights, including their personal safety and private property rights. But the Ninth Circuit’s murky rule issued here makes it difficult for cities to protect individual safety and public or private property in cities with large homeless populations."
Property Rights
September 21, 2023 2023-09-21
Supreme Court of the United States
Property Rights
The Fifth Amendment’s Takings clause is self-executing and applies to the states. Victims of government-caused flooding need not file statutory civil rights claims, and their just compensation is not blocked by sovereign immunity.
Property Rights
May 10, 2023 2023-05-10
Supreme Court of the United States
Property Rights
On the merits, PLF tells the Court the Fifth Amendment’s Takings clause is self-executing and applies to the states. Victims of government-caused flooding need not file statutory civil rights claims, and their just compensation is not blocked by sovereign immunity.
Property Rights
November 17, 2023 2023-11-17
Supreme Court of the United States
February 22, 2024 | By CHRIS KIESER

Supreme Court should wipe Thomas Jefferson High School ruling ‘off the books,’ Justice Alito says in dissent

We received heartbreaking news this week when the Supreme Court denied our petition for a writ of certiorari in Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board. The case challenged the school board's overhaul of admissions at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology—one of the best public high schools in America—undertaken to limi ...

February 22, 2024 | By STEVEN D. ANDERSON

SCOTUS will not hear PLF case on discrimination in K-12. What happens now?

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not hear our Thomas Jefferson High School case, a fight to determine whether public school students should be treated as individuals—on merit—or as members of racial groups. This is disappointing news for Pacific Legal Foundation and our clients, the Coalition for TJ: a group of ...

February 21, 2024 | By JAMES BURLING

The constitutionality of legislatively imposed exactions

"Where once government was closely constrained to increase the freedom of individuals, now property ownership is closely constrained to increase the power of government. Where once government was a necessary evil because it protected private property, now private property is a necessary evil because it funds government programs." 1San Remo Hotel L. ...

January 23, 2024 | By MARK MILLER

SCOTUS agrees to hear important case about homelessness

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a critical case about homelessness called City of Grants Pass v. Johnson. I wrote about this last week, and Fox News published my opinion. In this op-ed, I write: The plight of the homeless calls out to anyone with a heart. Drug and alcohol addiction, mental ...

January 19, 2024 | By ELIZABETH SLATTERY

How does a case get to the Supreme Court?

"I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court." It's far easier said than done, and it can take years for a legal battle to wind its way through the courts. When the federal government is on the other side—as it often is in Pacific Legal Foundation cases—it takes a relentless, determined attitude to ...

January 19, 2024 | By LARRY SALZMAN

National Review: The Supreme Court’s Chance to Revive a Neglected Civil Right

Sheetz now comes to the Court asking it to confirm the role of the Takings Clause in securing one's right to build on property free of predatory conditions by the government. It should. ...

January 18, 2024 | By OLIVER DUNFORD

Law & Liberty: Jarkesy and Chicken Little Law Professors

Just about every time a case involving the administrative state heads to the Supreme Court, we're subjected to hysterical warnings of the end of the world. A recent piece in The Atlantic might set a new standard for apocalyptic fearmongering. NYU Law Professor Noah Rosenblum frets that what he calls a garden-variety securities fraud case ...

January 10, 2024 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

An interview with the attorneys behind the SCOTUS case Sheetz v. County of El Dorado

On Tuesday, January 9, 2024, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sheetz v. County of El Dorado, a case challenging the government's ability to place unreasonable conditions, including large "impact fees," on property owners seeking building permits. Pacific Legal Foundation partnered with Paul Beard of FisherBroyles, LLP and argued that the i ...

January 08, 2024 | By SEAN AKEY

Frequently asked questions about Sheetz v. El Dorado

What is the legal question in Sheetz? In 2016, George Sheetz bought a vacant lot in rural El Dorado County, California, and planned to build a small, manufactured home where he and his wife would live in retirement and raise their grandson. But when George applied for a county building permit, he was told he ...

January 03, 2024 | By NICOLE W.C. YEATMAN

The government had George Sheetz ‘over a barrel.’ He took his case to the Supreme Court.

Picture this: You're a 65-year-old retiree who bought a small parcel of land in El Dorado County, California. In your career you worked your way up from $5-an-hour laborer to head of your own engineering contracting company. Your plans are modest: You're installing a manufactured home on your land. You've been careful not to spend ...

February 01, 2024

Fox News: The Supreme Court case that could help cities clean up homelessness

The plight of the homeless calls out to anyone with a heart. Drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and the outsized cost of housing have driven a sharp uptick in the number of homeless living in…

January 25, 2024

Fox News: California county bills man $23,000 to build house on own property. Now the Supreme Court will decide his case

George Sheetz spent 50 years in construction, saving his money. He bought a vacant lot not far from Lake Tahoe and planned to build a house there for his retirement.

January 8 2024

LA Times: This Supreme Court case from California could ease housing shortages everywhere

On Jan. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Californian George Sheetz, who applied for a permit to put a manufactured house on his land in El Dorado County and got hit with a $23,420 traff…

January 8, 2024 | By LARRY SALZMAN

National Review: The Supreme Court’s Chance to Revive a Neglected Civil Right

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Sheetz v. County of El Dorado. It is the fourth in a series of cases since 1987 involving the application of the unconstitutional conditions doctrin…

October 02, 2023 | By MARK MILLER

Issues & Insights: Homeless Crisis Exposes Judges Making Policy Rather than Law

The Supreme Court must take this case and recognize that the rule of law allows local and state elected leaders to reasonably address the health, safety, and welfare of the public when faced with a cr…

September 28, 2023 | By JAMES BURLING

The Messenger: The Supreme Court’s New Term—Fishing, Free Speech on the Internet, Wealth Tax and More

One of the biggest cases of the Supreme Court’s October term involves a fishing boat, in which the owner has thrown out a line to the court hoping to snag the Chevron Doctrine. To regulate the fishi…

September 20, 2023 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

USA Today: New Orleans social worker asks Supreme Court to protect freedom to work

Pacific Legal Foundation recently petitioned the Supreme Court the case of New Orleans social worker Ursula Newell-Davis, who argues that Louisiana’s certificate-of-need laws violate the right to ea…

Hear from a PLF Supreme Court Expert

PLF attorneys are available for speaking engagements and media interviews on cases at the Supreme Court.

To book a speaker, email events@pacificlegal.org. To arrange a media interview or to receive a comment on a Supreme Court case, email media@pacificlegal.org.

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