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Supreme Court sides with private property against the federal government
posted at 6:01 pm on December 4, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
We’ve got to celebrate the freedom-endorsing little victories won by the Supreme Court while we’ve still kinda’-sorta’ got it (one shudders to think of what what the highest court in the land may look like after four more years of President Obama), and the justices logged one in favor of private-property rights with their unanimous decision on Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States on Tuesday.
Per the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment (“nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”), the question was whether a series of floods coordinated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers qualified as an actual compensation-worthy taking, since the effects were temporary in nature (although, according to the Court’s opinion, the authorized flooding disrupted the peak growing season for timber and damaged or destroyed more than 18 million board feet of timber over seven years!). As one unit, SCOTUS affirmed that the federal government’s actions did indeed amount to a taking:
More from the Court’s opinion, delivered by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
Sorry, federal government — your seemingly tireless efforts to restrict private-property rights got the smackdown, at least for today.
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