January 12, 2015

Supreme Court declines to review Kentner

By Mark Miller Senior Attorney

Pacific Legal Foundation is disappointed to report that the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Kentner v. City of Sanibel, a PLF case that asked whether constitutional due process guarantees apply to private property. Although the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held, in Kentner, that private property is not among those fundamental rights enjoying this protection. For reasons unexplained, the Supreme Court will not review that decision despite the lower court’s decision contradicting nearly a century of Supreme Court precedent.

Simply put, the Eleventh Circuit undermined everyone’s freedoms when it excluded property rights from the protections guaranteed by due process. The right to own and make reasonable use of property is a fundamental right implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The Eleventh Circuit’s decision to the contrary conflicts with decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and several other circuit courts of appeals. Your property rights should not be conditional based on where you live, yet that is what the Eleventh Circuit held. PLF believes the Constitution holds otherwise, and that is why its attorneys are proud to have represented David and Susan Kentner, and Robert and Diane Williams, in this petition without charge.

Although we are disappointed in the decision of the Supreme Court in this case, PLF will continue its fight for the property rights of all Americans.

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