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Tag: Pacific Legal Foundation

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 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 ...

June 08, 2018

Can an administrative agency strip you of your right to put on evidence?

In Washington state, property owners who want to challenge the constitutionality of a new land-use or critical area restriction must first try their case to the Growth Management Hearings Board—an administrative agency that lacks the authority to decide constitutional issues. Although this requirement was meant to streamline the ordinary types of ...

May 10, 2018

Is property a fundamental right?

The answer to that question should be simple. After all, the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution protects "life, liberty, or property" without qualification. And, for nearly a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently treated property as a fundamental right, forbidding the government from imposing arbitrary or irrational restrictions ...

April 26, 2018

New report shows the conservation benefits of regulating endangered and threatened species differently

This week, the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) published The Road to Recovery: How restoring the Endangered Species Act's two-step process can prevent extinction and promote recovery. In that report, I explain how returning to Congress’ original design for the Endangered Species Act—according to which the statute’s ...

April 26, 2018

SCOTUS avoids the administrative elephant in the room

Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC, upholding by a 7-2 margin the inter partes review process used by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to invalidate already-issued patent claims. At issue was whether this process must be heard by an ...

April 13, 2018

A postscript to the Utah prairie dog case: federal agency embraces state-led reform

For decades, a federal agency had forbidden people in southwestern Utah from doing things that most of us take for granted in our own communities, like building homes, starting businesses, or protecting their airport, playgrounds, and cemetery from disruption, all ostensibly to protect the Utah prairie dog. Thanks to a lawsuit PLF filed on behalf ...