- Supreme Court grants certiorari (as Cato had urged) in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, on First Amendment rights of individual public employees against unions, potentially major sequel to Harris v. Quinn (our coverage) and Knox v. SEIU (our coverage). More: Jason Bedrick, Cato;
- More First Amendment: On same day, high court says Texas can turn down Confederate-flag license plates but that town of Gilbert, Ariz. impermissibly took content into account in regulating roadside signs [Lyle Denniston; Eugene Volokh on Gilbert and earlier, and on license plates] Ilya Shapiro has a wrap-up of other end-of-term cases;
- Paging judicial-independence buffs: study finds Obama stands out for aggressive comments on pending SCOTUS cases [W$J via Jonathan Adler]
- Abercrombie v. EEOC followup (earlier): If Thomas’s dissent has the courage of its convictions, maybe it’s because he was longest-serving chairman in EEOC history [Tamara Tabo] “SCOTUS requires employers to stereotype in ruling for EEOC in hijab-accommodation case” [Jon Hyman] Yes, employers can still have dress codes, but read on for the caveat [Daniel Schwartz]
- “Illinois Uses Racial Preferences for No Good Reason,” Seventh Circuit take note [Ilya Shapiro and Julio Colomba, Cato]
- Feds can refuse to register a “disparaging” trademark. Consistent with the First Amendment? [Shapiro, Cato]
- More from Ilya Somin on anniversary of eminent domain Kelo v. New London decision [one, two, more]
It’s raining raisin rights! The Supreme Court has ruled 8-1, as a Cato amicus brief had urged, that the Horne family of California have a Fifth Amendment right to compensation for the government’s seizure of half their raisin crop as part of an agricultural marketing order program. Only Justice Sotomayor dissented. There was also a 5-3 split on the question of how compensation should be calculated, with the majority joining Chief Justice Roberts in holding that the Department of Agriculture was bound by its own estimate of the value of the raisins taken. Earlier on Horne v. USDA here.
Robert Thomas at Inverse Condemnation rounds up reactions. Commentary: Ilya Shapiro, Roger Pilon (and earlier on the Magna Carta angle), and Trevor Burrus/Forbes (good news: Court strikes down really awful New Deal farm program. Bad news: it took 80 years), all from Cato; Iain Murray, Ilya Somin. And thanks to Instapundit guestblogger Virginia Postrel for linking to our past coverage.
- Coming this Thursday, June 11: Cato conference marks tenth anniversary of eminent domain/property rights case Kelo v. New London, with Ilya Somin, author of new book The Grasping Hand [register or watch online, David Lat interview and more on Somin’s book here, here (with link to full post series at end)]
- EPA spent tax money on social media campaign to generate public comments supporting its planned regs [Eric Lipton and Coral Davenport/New York Times (“The Obama administration is the first to give the E.P.A. a mandate to create broad public outreach campaigns, using the tactics of elections, in support of federal environmental regulations before they are final,” despite series of DoJ opinions deeming similar efforts unlawful), Nicole Kaeding/Cato, D.C. Examiner] Agency has used its Clean Water Act authority to grab power “over just about any creek, pond, prairie pothole or muddy farm field that EPA says has a ‘significant nexus’ to a navigable waterway.”[WSJ/Kitsap Alliance, also M. Reed Hopper/Todd Gaziano background; Karen Bennett and John Henson, Federalist Society “Engage” on federalism angle]
- Advances against Ebola, cancer, blindness: “Animal Testing and Its Gifts To Humans” [Frankie Trull, WSJ/Emory Yerkes Primate Center]
- “Tax Increment Financing Is The New Urban Renewal” [Scott Beyer]
- Cato files amicus brief supporting property owners who say restrictions on prairie dog habitat exceed Congress’s powers under Interstate Commerce Clause [Trevor Burrus and Roger Pilon, Cato]
- Former hunt saboteur and director of the League Against Cruel Sports: U.K.’s “ban on hunting with dogs has done nothing for animal welfare and should be repealed.” [Jim Barrington, Our Kingdom]
- Drought forced Australia to develop a sophisticated water market. When will California learn? [David Henderson]
Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Horne v. USDA, with many Justices skeptical of the government’s position that it can seize nearly half of a family’s raisin crop under a USDA program without creating a “taking” for which it would owe just compensation under the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Cato filed an amicus brief on behalf of the raisin-farming Horne family, as it had also done at earlier stages of the protracted case [our earlier coverage; my colleague Trevor Burrus’s write-up from March; Damon Root, Reason] And The Daily Show (“raisin outlaw”).
“Property of the Hess Estate Which Has Never Been Dedicated For Public Purposes.” That’s the message on a tiled mosaic triangle inset in a sidewalk at Seventh Avenue and Christopher Street in Manhattan’s West Village. It hearkens back to a 1920s-1930s dispute over eminent domain, and stands as the enduring monument to a property owner who wouldn’t give in [Dan Lewis, Now I Know, who adds a note on the historic Kelo v. New London dispute]
For a second time, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case in which federal agricultural marketing order regulations compelled the Horne family of California to surrender about half their raisin crop for little if any compensation. [Will Baude, Ilya Somin, Michael McConnell] A previous high court ruling had kicked the case back to the Ninth Circuit for further proceedings [earlier here and here.]
Should the Court deem the requisitions a taking for which compensation is due, the implications for other agricultural programs are considerable. “Similar USDA marketing order programs are in place for almonds, apricots, avocados, cherries (both sweet and tart), Florida and Texas citrus, cranberries, dates, grapes, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, olives, many onions and pears, pistachios, California plums and prunes, many potatoes, raisins, spearmint oil, tomatoes, and walnuts.” [Baylen Linnekin]
Also, wouldn’t this make a good illustration?
The New York governor was a lawyer by training — Gideon Kanner recalls his start as an eminent domain compensation lawyer in Queens — and drew insight from the experience. Bill Hammond of the Daily News:
— Bill Hammond (@NYDNHammond) January 3, 2015
During his term in office I wrote two pieces for the Wall Street Journal about Cuomo, one an opinion piece on New York’s finances, another a review of an unsuitably hagiographic biography; neither is online so far as I know. My view was that despite his lion-of-the-Left reputation, Cuomo had governed in a cautious rather than radical way, and by the same token had in no way been a transformational figure for his state: New York had largely the same set of governance problems when he left office as when he entered.
Also on the Sony affair, from @conor64: “Failure to release The Interview is less a sign of corporate cowardice than overbroad liability laws that would let people sue after attack.”
- “An Innovative Way to Title Property in Poor Countries” [Ian Vasquez on Peter Schaefer and Clay Schaefer Cato study]
- Berman v. Parker, “1954 U.S. Supreme Court case that approved large-scale modern urban renewal”, facilitated a bulldozer redevelopment of Washington, D.C.’s SW now viewed as “crushing failure” [Gideon Kanner]
- Time for a radical step: strip local government of its project-blocking powers [Edward Glaeser, Cato]
- When reporting on European anti-fracking movements, try not to think of a Bear [Jonathan Adler]
- “The EPA wants to redefine ‘the waters of the United States’ to mean virtually any wet spot in the country.” [M. Reed Hopper and Todd Gaziano, WSJ] Overcriminalization, EPA, and wetlands: the Jack Barron case [Right on Crime video]
- Exhaustion of state remedies on takings: “Supreme Court Should Remove Kafka-esque Burden to Vindicating Property Rights” [Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus]
- “Proposition 65 can spell bankruptcy for many California small business owners” [Mark Snyder, Sacramento Bee]
- California resists idea of charging market-clearing rate for water — too much like economics — and instead encourages tattling on neighbors [New York Times, Coyote]
- Academia smitten by notion of “climate reparations” [Peter Wood, Minding the Campus]
- Costly market intervention: “Minnesota doubles down on nation’s top biodiesel law” [Watchdog]
- Reusable grocery bags have their problems for sanitation and otherwise, but California contemplates banning the alternatives [Katherine Mangu-Ward, Steven Greenhut, Reason]
- Coming: film about Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain case [Nick Gillespie, Ilya Somin]
- 45 years later: the famous 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga became a fable for its age [Jonathan Adler on the Cuyahoga]
- Should beachfront owners have to open their land to all comers? [NY Times “Room for Debate”]
- Plus: “EPA has no business garnishing wages without due process” [Examiner editorial, earlier]