The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Is Chief Justice Roberts the Supreme Court's "Property Guy"?

The Chief has written many of the Court's property cases over the past decade.


Robert Thomas made a thorough observation on his Inverse Condemnation blog: Chief Justice Roberts is the Supreme Court's "property guy":

The biggest point we read between the lines of Chief Justice Roberts' opinion was this: the Chief is solidly the "property guy" on the Court. In addition to Cedar Point, how many of the Court's property or property-related opinions has he authored? KnickPenn East. Horne IIMurr dissentWinterThis recent per curiam sure reads a lot like he wrote it, too. [Pakdel v. City & County of San Francisco]. Those opinions he didn't author he played a big part in: the fifth vote in Koontzpresumably employing his role as Chief to organize unanimous or nearly unanimous decisions in Arkansas GameHorne IBrandtHawkes, and Sackett; and joining in very pro-property rights pluralities when there wasn't a majority. (Did we miss any?)

I can't think of any others. Roberts really, really has a strong preference for property rights. True enough, Roberts argued Tahoe-Sierra on behalf of the federal government. But lawyers don't always agree with their causes.