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SCOTUS: Private Property Owners to Bear Cost of 'Public Aims'?

March 19, 2019

 

WASHINGTON, DC: Southeastern Legal Foundation joined the National Federation of Independent Business, Cato Institute, and others in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Love Terminal Partners v. United States – a regulatory taking case out of the Federal Circuit.

 

The case involves the classic example of the government forcing private property owners to bear public burdens. Here, the private property owner invested tens of millions of dollars in a leasehold at Dallas Love Field Airport and spent years building a new terminal, only to later be precluded from using the terminal and ordered to destroy it. The owner sued and the Court of Federal Claims recognized the obvious taking and ordered the federal government to pay $133.5 million dollars – the reasonable value of the property that had been rendered economically useless.

 

On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed and declared the private property owners entitled to nothing at all. Ignoring U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Court of Appeals pronounced a new categorical rule – if the property doesn’t produce a positive cash flow, then a takings claim must categorically fail. As SLF argues in the brief, this rule not only ignores precedent, it also ignores economic and practical realities. Even more, it allows the federal government to abrogate common law property rights with impunity.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court should grant certiorari to repudiate the Federal Circuit’s rule and to provide more coherent and predictable rules in regulatory taking cases.

 

Click here for SCOTUS amicus brief

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