The Volokh Conspiracy

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SCOTUS Denies Cert in Richard Epstein v. Barack Obama

No, that is not the real name of the case, but you get the idea.


In March 2021, Richard Epstein filed a cert petition in Protect our Parks v. City of Chicago. This Takings case arose when Chicago gave land and money to a private entity, the Obama Foundation. In effect, the case was Richard Epstein v. Barack Obama. Or something like that. The Seventh Circuit held that the Plaintiffs lacked standing. Now-Justice Barrett wrote the panel opinion, joined by Judges Manion and Brennan.

On appeal, the petition presented two questions:

1. Whether the Plaintiffs possess Article III standing to bring their takings and due process claims in light of the Seventh Circuit's application of Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, 497 U.S. 871 (1990) and similar authorities of this Court?

2. If standing exists, whether the City of Chicago violated Plaintiffs' Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights on their takings and due process claims?

Today the Court denied review, with Justice Barrett recused. The Court didn't even call for a response. Alas, Richard Epstein's maiden Supreme Court oral argument will have to wait. I wish Chief Justice Roberts good luck at enforcing time limits.