Weekly litigation update — August 25, 2018

August 25, 2018 | By JAMES BURLING

Reply brief filed in Knick

PLF attorneys filed this reply brief in Knick v. Scott Township, our case challenging the bizarre Supreme Court rule that prevents property owners from bringing federal takings claims in federal court. Mrs. Knick simply wants to keep members of the public from traisping on her property. The town passed an ordinance allowing the public to trespass on private land  so the public can look for old stones that might, or might not, be ancient graves. The brief takes on the notion advanced by the City that Section 1983 of a federal law protecting civil rights requires that people claiming that a local or state government has taken their property to first ask for money in state court before they can ask for the law to be overturned in federal court.

Court denies interventionist delay tactics in Seattle background check lawsuit

August 23, PLF beat back an attempt by special interest groups to derail Yim v. Seattle, our challenge to Seattle’s ban on criminal background checks. The City forbids landlords from even considering applicants’ criminal histories when selecting tenants—violating landlords’ constitutionally protected choice to decide who to allow on their private property. Two groups purporting to represent tenants moved to intervene in the lawsuit on the side of the City. The groups threatened to introduce irrelevant issues and delay a decision about the constitutionality of the background check ban. PLF argued that the City didn’t need any help defending its own law, and the federal district court agreed. The court denied with this order the groups’ motion to intervene, but allowed them to file a friend of the court brief. The decision ensures that the case can move forward on an expedited schedule.