Obamacare to Appellate Court
The D.C. District Court granted the government’s motion to dismiss our challenge to Obamacare and we have now appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Our bottom line in Sissel v. United States Department of Health and Human Services is that because the Affordable Care Act contains a new tax, and because the statute did not “originate” in the House of Representatives, it violates the “Origination Clause.” That clause requires all revenue bills to originate in the House, not the Senate.
Economic Liberties Project — Right to Earn a Living
After we filed our federal complaint in our Nevada movers case, Underwood v. Mackey, the state filed a state administrative complaint against the Maurice Underwood — for alleging moving without a license. That is the license requirement, of course, that we are challenging because it requires that someone who wishes to start a new business to get permission of existing competitors. We had asked the federal court to enjoin the state action while the federal action is pending. This week the Ninth Circuit said “no” and the state proceedings will continue while we are litigating the constitutionality of the requirement in federal court.
Property Rights — Washington State
We received an adverse decision in Richter v. City of Des Moines this week. That case involved an extraordinary — and illegal — permitting delay. After a court found the delay to be unlawful, the landowner sought a remedy under the Due Process Clause. While the Ninth Circuit declined to find a Due Process violation, it did at least not hold that only vested development rights are entitled to constitutional protection, as noted in our blog.
Property Rights — Wetlands taking
We filed this amicus brief in Mehaffy v. United States in the United States Supreme Court, urging the Court to take up this case. After an owner of wetlands was denied a permit, he sued for a taking. The Federal Circuit, however, held that because the owner purchased the property after the adoption of the 1972 Clean Water Act, he had no “reasonable investment-backed expectations” and therefore could not prevail on a takings claim. We think this is absurd, because it effectively gives the government the property’s development rights if the property changes hands any time after new land-use restriction is adopted. More importantly, the Supreme Court previously held that “future generations, too, have a right to challenge unreasonable limitations on the use and value of land” in Palazzolo v. United States, a case we won in 2001.
Educational Choice and Charter Schools
The California Supreme Court issued an adverse decision in Today’s Fresh Start v. Los Angeles County Office of Education. The details of the case involved the details of the county’s revocation of the school’s charter. We had filed an amicus brief explaining how important school choice is. For more on the impact of the decision, see our blog post.
Environment –Endangered Species