Barack Obama

Obama's Supreme Court Losing Streak: 0-3 in Property Rights Cases


Credit: Library of Congress

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that a group of California raisin farmers may proceed with a constitutional challenge against a New Deal-era law forcing them to turn over a portion of their crop to the federal government without compensation in order to reduce supply and fix prices. As I noted in my report on the ruling, this is the second unanimous defeat this term for the Obama administration in a 5th Amendment Takings Clause case.

That's not exactly a great track record for the White House, though as George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin observes, it actually gets worse if you broaden the category to property rights more generally. That's because last term, in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, a unanimous Supreme Court rejected Obama's argument that the EPA may issue regulatory commands to property owners without having to subject those commands to judicial review by the courts. "There is no reason to think that the Clean Water Act was uniquely designed to enable the strong-arming of regulated parties into 'voluntary compliance' without the opportunity for judicial review," the ruling declared.

So that's three major property cases and three resounding defeats for the Obama administration. As Somin puts it, "what these rulings really reflect is that the administration took such extreme positions that even liberal justices generally unsympathetic to property rights claims could not swallow them."

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  1. Again, Obama said he was going to change the way Washington works. He didn’t say it would be a change for better.

  2. Nine justices are about to see their phones tapped and returns audited.

    1. What scares the holy bejesus out of me is thinking that the SC is all that stands between us and a completely unfettered executive.

      1. It’s certainly not Congress standing in the way.

        1. It’s like they’re playing Red Rover without holding hands… or looking in the direction of the other team.

  3. It is worth mentioning that this did not originate with this administration. That they would defend it is reprehensible.

    Is there even the slightest possibility that they threw the case?

    *Looks at shitweasel’s record*

    No, probably not.

    1. They could have chosen to withdraw it.

  4. How far Left do you have to go to have Ginsburg, the Wise Latina, Souter and Stumpy vote against you?!

  5. Obama lost another case? I think the Supreme Court might need 19 characters even more than the picture does.

  6. 0-3.

    Obama’s doing property rights a great service by forcing the Supes to put it in writing. At least that’s how it will be spun at his presidential library.

  7. Hold on Damon, the Raisin Case is not won yet. All the court held is that the plaintiffs could challenge the mandatory set-aside. The Court did not hint how they would rule on the underlying issue.

    1. You are raisin an important point.

    2. Yes they haven’t decided the actual case yet, but they did reject the administrations argument that the case was completely without merit and should not even be heard. That is actually a ruling in and of itself, so it is something of a victory.

      And the very fact that they rejected so soundly the assertion that the case has no merit pretty clearly indicates they think it does. A unanimous rejection of the administrations argument is a pretty good hint as to which way they’re leaning.

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