The Pacific Legal Foundation's Timothy Sandefur has a good post explaining the importance of today's Supreme Court ruling in Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Dept. of Environmental Regulation, which dealt with the issue of judicial takings—a form of 5th Amendment taking that occurs when courts revise property laws. As Sandefur writes:
The problem is that courts sometimes try to go back and rewrite state property law in order to take property from people without compensation. Although the Supreme Court has sometimes said that that wouldn't be allowed, the Stop The Beach Renourishment case is the first time the Court has discussed the matter at length. In today's decision, the justices found that such a thing did not happen here—but in section II of the opinion, four of the justices went on to explain why this would not be allowed…
Whatever one thinks about the end result of the decision, the crucial fact is that Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts recognize that state courts do not have free rein to redefine private property at will.
Read the rest here.
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