Westboro Baptist Church Redux    

Westboro Baptist Church is like a bad penny. You know the punch line. It keeps showing up.

So here’s another Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision,  in a long line of  Eighth Circuit, Westboro Baptist Church cases, upholding an Iowa state law that prohibited protests within 500 feet of a cemetery, mortuary, church, or other place of worship during a funeral within one hour before and two hours after the funeral.

lmegaphone-clip-art-3

First, a review of this case before discussing its implications.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in August of 2017, upheld a Nebraska law prohibiting protest activities within 500 feet from a cemetery, mortuary, church, or other place of worship during a funeral from one hour prior to and two hours following a funeral.   This case increased the  buffer zone distance from 300 feet to 500 feet, recognized in an earlier decision of the Eighth Circuit in 2012,  upholding an ordinance of the City of Manchester, Missouri, which restricted such protest activities within 300 feet and one hour prior and one hour after the funeral service.  The Eighth Circuit concluded that the state statute was a reasonable time, place, and/or manner restriction that did not violate the rights of the protesters.  Seemingly going from 300 to 500 feet  was no big deal, although a buffer zone distance of  500 feet, makes it one of the longest free speech buffer zone cases to be upheld.

By contrast  consider a  35 foot buffer zone in front of an entrance to an abortion clinic was unconstitutional because it was not the least restrictive means.  It is hard to square these   two opinions, except that innately we somehow know that a funeral is a very special  time when mourners, relatives, and friends are entitled to grieve and pay respect to the departed, in their own special way, without outside intrusion. It seems that the Supreme Court is willing to treat  protests at funerals  differently than protests at abortion clinics,  without recognizing the differences except by implication.

I always thought that the right of privacy  was a big factor, which seemed to me  where the Eighth Circuit was going  as I have argued for  in earlier Posts. In my mind, it is hard to make a  real substantive distinction between the two  outcomes.  It seems to me that this is just a matter of  subjective perspective.

List Of Westboro Church Posts By Howard Wright With Links

WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH CHALLENGE TO MISSOURI FUNERAL PICKETING LAW

Posted on  by .| have described Westboro Baptist Church as the Church that loves to be hated in an earlier Post. I might add, they also love to rile up citizens into egging on state and local government officials to enact laws that … Continue reading 

Westboro Baptist Church Loses Challenge to Ordinance Prohibiting Picketing of Funeral Service

Westboro Baptist Church is a church that loves to be hated. It is a small group (Shirley and Megan Phelps-Roper and others) that pickets funerals of dead veterans with signs that state that the veterans died because of God’s wrath … Continue reading 

Posted in Law and Policy |

Westboro Baptist Church – Beginning of the End for Picketing of Funerals?

The ongoing saga of the Westboro Baptist Church and their despicable picketing of veterans’ funerals continues unabated despite the efforts of hundreds of local communities  and about 40 states that have passed laws prohibiting the picketing of funerals. The Eighth … Continue reading 

United States Supreme Court Closes Door on Damages in Westboro Baptist Church Case

In the face of hateful picketing by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, Albert Synder, the father of a soldier who was killed in Iraq in the line of duty filed a claim for damages against members of the Westboro Baptist … Continue reading 

Westboro Baptist Church Preaches Hell, Fire, and Damnation at Veterans Funerals.

Phelps-Roper (Roper) is a member of the Westboro Baptist Church that believes that God is punishing America by killing American soldiers for what her Church considers the sin of homosexuality. As part of her religious duties Roper believes funerals are … Continue reading 

Thirty-five Foot Buffer Zone For Abortion Clinics Unconstitutional.

In McCullen v. Coakley, the United States Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law that made it a crime to knowingly stand on a ”public way or sidewalk” within 35 feet of an entrance or driveway of a reproductive health … Continue reading 

Advertisements
Posted in Law and Policy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

No Constitutional Right To Grow Marijuana

St. Louis City police detectives went to Shanklin’s residence after a “utility inquiry” showed excessive electricity use, consistent with marijuana cultivation. The police discovered more than 300 live marijuana plants, several hundred grams of packaged marijuana, a mesh dryer, and a digital scale commonly used to prepare and package marijuana for distribution.

pig with lipstick

Constitutional Amendment

Shanklin was charged with producing a controlled substance in violation of state law. Shanklin was found guilty and he appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court arguing that the state law was unconstitutional because it violated his constitutional right to farm guaranteed by article I, section 35, which provides:

“That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.” (Amendment)

The Court reasoned in State of Missouri v, Shanklin, that the first sentence of the Amendment was prefatory and did not provide a constitutional right to engage in unregulated agriculture. The Amendment did not include any language suggesting that it was intended “to nullify or curtail long-standing laws regulating or prohibiting, cultivation, and harvest of controlled substances.” In addition, the Amendment recognizes farming and ranching practices are subject to local governmental regulation making it absurd to conclude that the Missouri voters intended to curtail state and federal regulatory authority over illegal drug trade while allowing local government to regulate the practice. State of Missouri v, Shanklin, (No.  SC96008, 12/5/17)

In an earlier Post, I noted that the hopes of the Missouri Farm Bureau, that the constitutional Amendment, guaranteeing the right to engage in farming and ranching would be interpreted broadly, was dashed by the Missouri Supreme Court in Shoemaker v. Kander. The Court’s statement in  Shoemaker  that “…no constitutional right is so broad as to prohibit all regulation” poured cold water over the Farm Bureau’s effort to make farming a constitutionally protected activity free from regulation.  

 Howard Wright© 2017

Posted in Law and Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sex Stereotyping Is Gender Discrimination

In the last two years, the Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri (Western District) has decided three significant cases, all interrelated, dealing with gender discrimination, gender identity and sex stereotyping. The latest, decided by the Western District in October of 2017, (Lampley v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights), is a case of first impression, holding that sex stereotyping was gender discrimination; thereby, violating Missouri employment discrimination laws. Before discussing the sex stereotyping case in Lampley, it is useful to look at two earlier cases by the Western District because they provide important background.statue-of-liberty-1758290_960_720

In Pittman v. Cook Paper Recycling Corp., (a 2015 case) the President of Cook Paper repeatedly called Pittman a homosexual male who worked as a controller for Cook Paper obscene names and stated that he did not approve of the male companion that Pittman was seeing. When Pittman terminated his relationship with his male companion Pittman filed suit alleging that Cook Paper had created a hostile work environment, which led to Pittman being treated differently than persons who separated while in a traditional male/female relationship. The Western District held that Pittman did not state a cause of action because employment discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) applied only to male female gender discrimination. In other words, the meaning of the word “sex” in the MHRA meant gender (male or female); therefore, the statute was intended to only apply in situations where females were discriminated against by being treated differently than males or vice versa.

In the Pittman case, there was a vigorous dissent by Judge Gabbert, who argued that the definition of “sex” was much broader then gender discrimination and included “the phenomena of sexual instincts and their manifestations,” thereby making the MHRA applicable to other forms of sex discrimination than just gender. For a more detailed discussion of this case see my Post (“All About Sex”) arguing that the Western District majority opinion was in error. Unfortunately, the Missouri Supreme Court did not review the Pittman case leaving us with the holding by the Western District that sex discrimination in employment was limited to discrimination based upon gender. Gays, homosexuals, and transgender persons claiming sex discrimination need not apply.

The second case, (R. M. A. v. Blue Springs) a public accommodations case based on sex discrimination, was decided in August of 2017. This case involved a junior high school student (R.M.A.) who alleged that he was a female to male transgender teenager who transitioned to “living as a male” by changing his name to a male name and by changing his birth certificate to show that he was a male, based upon a certification by a doctor that a medical procedure has occurred making this change. As a result the state changed the gender on the birth certificate of R.Sex M.A. from female to male as permitted by Missouri law.

Based on these changes to his sexual identity, R.M.A. contended that he should be able to access the same locker rooms and restrooms as other boys who participated in physical education, which request was denied by the school district. R.M.A. sued and the Western District noted  that the history of the MHRA showed numerous attempts by the legislature to change the law to include sexual preference in the MHRA leading the court to conclude that the legislature never intended to include discrimination based upon gender identity in its original legislation, discrimination based on gender identity. In addition, the court relied on its earlier Pittman opinion, which held that the legislature did not intend to include within the definition of “sex” the concept of sexual orientation because it intended the word “sex” to relate to male/female “gender related traits.” Again, Judge Gabbert dissented arguing that this case represented a clear example of discrimination based on sex. After all, as Judge Gabbert noted that “but for” R.M.A.’s sexual anatomy the discrimination would not have occurred.

This brings us to the third and most recent case, Lampley v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights, decided in October of 2017. Lampley an employee alleged his employer discriminated against him based on sex stereotyping, because his behavior and appearance contradicted the stereotypes of maleness held by his employer and managers.   Lampley argued these stereotypes motivated his employer to harass him and treat him differently from similarly situated male employees who conformed to male gender stereotypes.

Lampley filed a sex discrimination case with the Missouri Commission on Human Right (MCHR). The MCHR, after investigation, terminated the proceedings, stating it lacked jurisdiction over claims based on sexual orientation. Lampley appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, which held in a case of first impression that “gender stereotyping” is a form of sex discrimination based on gender and is actionable under the MHRA. Interestingly, Judge Gabbert, who had dissented in the two earlier cases, wrote the opinion in Lampley v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights, relying upon the narrow definition of “sex” (sex refers to only male-female gender).

In Lampley v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights, Judge Gabbert relied upon the 1989 opinion by United States Supreme Court in Price Waterhouse, which held by a plurality that:

“we are beyond the day when an employer could evaluate employees by assuming or insisting that they matched the stereotype associated with their group, for ‘in forbidding employers to discriminate against individuals because of their sex, Congress intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women resulting from sex stereotypes.”

The Western District also relied on earlier Missouri cases where the Missouri courts recognized that stereotyping based upon the type of work a pregnant woman could perform or a person’s age was a limitation for eligibility to work was discrimination based on stereotypingFor a more in depth analysis see MMAA November 2017 Newsletter.

So where are we with respect to resolution of these important issues? Will the Missouri Supreme Court review the Western District’s opinion in Lampley v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights or will it turn down Lampley like it did in Pittman, leaving us to dangle in the wind?

Outside federal forces may affect whether or not Missouri courts no walk or slow walk the review of Lampley v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights. See excellent article on July 11, 2017 by Lyle Denniston, in the Constitution Daily on “Major sex quality dispute on the way to Supreme Court.” Venturing a guess it would seem to me that Missouri might delay any decision until there are further developments at the federal level.

Howard Wright @ 2017

Posted in Law and Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eastern District Issues Landmark Decision Upholding The Power Of Home Rule Cities To Tax Without A Grant From General Assembly

St Louis

The opinion in Neuner v City of St. Louis is one for the ages.  It is the most significant opinion, with respect to constitutional home rule powers, since the adoption of the 1971 amendmenOnt to the Missouri Constitution granting constitutional home rule cities all powers that the general assembly could grant that are not denied by its charter or by statute.  This opinion is extremely well reasoned and written (brilliant) and should (hopefully) withstand the scrutiny of the Missouri Supreme Court.

Article 6, Section 19(a) grants to constitutional home rule cities all the powers that the general assembly has the power to confer unless limited by its charter or by statute.

The question: Are the power in Article 6, Section 19(a) limited by Article 10, Section 1 of the Missouri Constitution, which provides that the taxing power of political subdivisions may only be exercised “under power granted to them by the general assembly”?  The 2017 opinion by the Western District in Neuner v City of St. Louis answers this question by concluding that Article 6, Section 19(a) is not limited by Article 10, Section 1, thereby, answering one of the most perplexing questions for municipal attorneys.

There are three parts to the Court’s opinion.  First, there is a historical analysis, which conclusively shows that the drafters of the 1875 Missouri Constitution did not intend Article 10, Section 1 to limit the taxing power of the City of St. Louis as a city authorized to adopt its own charter, provided that the city charter included provisions for such taxation.  This view prevailed for 64 years until 1943 when the Missouri Supreme Court reversed its earlier opinions by holding that the charter provisions that authorized the City to tax without a grant to tax from the General Assembly to the City of St. Louis were limited by Article 10 Section 1.  The Missouri Supreme Court did not discuss any of the pre-1943 opinions other than to simply overrule a 1933 opinion.  The 1943 opinion and subsequent opinions prevailed until 2017, at which time the Eastern District concluded in Neuner v City of St. Louis that the home rule city constitutional amendment in 1971 allowed constitutional home rule cities to tax without a grant of power to tax from the general assembly.

What does this mean? 

The most obvious is that when faced with problems   requiring a revenue source constitutional home rule cities in Missouri  (approximately 43 cities) have the power to provide funds through taxation to solve these problems subject to approval of a tax by the voters. This has the effect of unleashing the full creative power of  constitutional home rule cities to solve problems.

To read the full analysis of the opinion see my full Post in the October issue of the Missouri Municipal Attorneys Newsletter by clicking  here.

Howard Wright© 2017

Posted in Law and Policy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Eighth Circuit Upholds Minnesota Law Prohibiting Robocalls

It is hard to find anything more annoying or despised than robocalls.phone

Recently the Eighth Circuit in Gresham v. Swanson, upheld a Minnesota law prohibiting robocalls against a free speech challenge.  The Petitioner in the Minnesota case sought a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Minnesota statute, which was denied by the district court. The Eighth Circuit upheld the district court’s decision on the grounds that it was unlikely that the Petitioner would succeed on its First Amendment claim.

The Minnesota statute is simple and well written. It provides that:

“…a caller may not make a robocall what unless “(1) the subscriber has knowingly or voluntarily requested, consented to, permitted, or authorized receipt of the message; or (2) the message is immediately preceded by a live operator who obtains the subscriber’s consent before the message is delivered.” Subsection (b) then provides that subsection (a) does not apply to: “(1) messages from school districts to students, parents, or employees, (2) messages to subscribers with whom the caller has a current business or personal relationship, or (3) messages advising employees of work schedules.” § 325E.27(b). Subsection (b) also exempts from the requirements of subsection (a) “messages from a nonprofit tax-exempt charitable organization sent solely for the purpose of soliciting voluntary donations of clothing to benefit disabled United States military veterans and containing no request for monetary donations or other solicitations of any kind.”

The Eighth Circuit concluded that the first three exceptions in the statute were not content-based restrictions and were based upon valid time, place, and manner restrictions. Subsection (b) of the Act exempting messages from not-for-profit tax-exempt charitable organizations sent solely for the purpose of soliciting voluntary donations of clothing to benefit disabled military veterans was found to be content based and unconstitutional, which the Court severed from the rest of the statute. Other states have made the same mistake by carving out exceptions for not for profits and other similar organizations only to find out that courts invalidated their statute. The Minnesota statute and the opinion by the Eighth Circuit upholding the statute indicates that the statute should survive any challenge making it a good model  by Missouri.

bill of rights

Bill of Rights

Federal and State Statutes

Federal – The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (Act) limits the use of certain automated calls or texts and prerecorded voice calls (all of which are sometimes called “robocalls”), primarily made to cell phones.  The Act and the  implementing rules apply to political campaign-related calls or texts; however, the Act allows robocalls made to telephone landlines, even without express consent.

State – Missouri also has a no  call list but the exceptions to the law swallow the prohibitions. Organizations that are exempt include nonprofit organizations and charities, companies that you’re already doing business with (like your bank or cable TV provider), political groups, and research groups, making it particularly ineffective with respect to citizens who have land lines who do not want these calls.

What can you do  to block robocalls

First, get on the federal and Missouri no call list. There are many online articles, including an article by Huffington Post, that provides information about how to block robo calls.

Initiative Petition –  It would seem that  there is no possibility that the Missouri legislature would ever adopt a law prohibiting  robocalls like Minnesota. After all, many legislators use robocalls and there are well organized and financed groups that have a business interest in continuing the use of robocalls. Citizens who are annoyed by these calls may want to consider other action like an initiative so the voters can decide. 

 

 

Posted in Law and Policy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harris–Stowe State University Gets Hit With Five Million Dollar Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Harris–Stowe State University (Harris–Stowe), located in the City of St. Louis, recently lost an employment discrimination case based on reverse discrimination (black on white) where the jury awarded over $5 million dollars  in compensatory damages,   punitive damages and attorney fees.

bill of rights

Bill of Rights

Normally, I write about cases that announce important new principles of law. Harris-Stowe is not that kind of case. Nevertheless, this case is extremely useful because it provides a ready-made checklist showing important issues that need to be considered before  dismissing or taking other serious disciplinary action against an employee. The actions of Harris-Stove were so bad that the court made a special point of chastising the Board of the   University.

“In a time where claims of discrimination are most often proven through circumstantial evidence due to the covert and subtle nature of discriminatory conduct, this case stands apart. Rarely have we seen such manifest and open evidence of racial discrimination.”

Before launching into a serious disciplinary action you need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Don’t launch unless you have a good case backed by the record; instead, consider a lesser form of discipline that fits the mold of progressive discipline, unless the actions are so egregious that immediate action is required and even in those situations consider suspending the employee until a full investigation is completed.

Hint, best way to avoid  the mistakes of Harris-Stowe is to use a checklist and make sure your attorney or HR director has reviewed the file showing that consideration was given to the items on the checklist. A checklist allows you to weigh the strength and the weakness of an employment action, particularly from the standpoint of how the evidence could adversely affect the ability of the local government agency to defend the disciplinary action.

The Harris-Stowe case provides a backdrop for a good checklist based on the examination of the facts, which shows why the jury awarded the employee over                               $5 million dollars. In other words, we are going to look at the worst of the worst to see what we can learn from  mistakes. I take no great enjoyment in making these comments in light of long and esteemed history of Harris-Stowe.Harris-Stowe 5751754be18a1-image

 

My purpose is to reflect on past mistakes so we can learn for the future. Following is a list of glaring mistakes that made the Harris-Stowe case a nightmare                       to defend.

Past Performance Ratings – Of course, always check to see how the employee performance was rated in the past.  Obviously the performance of the employee at the time of the employment action is unsatisfactory. When past performance ratings are  excellent this is a red flag requiring an explanation from the supervisors.  Wilkins performance ratings were excellent from 2001 until almost to the day when the employment action was taken in 2010.

Bad Statements – Always look for bad statements in the work place by supervisors or fellow employees since these can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the case. I do more than look; I literally comb the work environment because these statements can blow up in your face or your opponent destroying the ability to defend or the employment action. In the Harris-Stowe case Smith, the Dean of the Education Department, had repeatedly proclaimed her belief in “black power” prior to being appointed Dean.  Despite an order from the court directing that Harris–Stowe protect emails some emails were deleted.  These emails purportedly contained statements that the Board wanted to make the department “Blacker” at the expense of white employees leading to an instruction to the jury that the loss of these emails created a presumption that they contained information that was adverse to Harris–Stowe.

Follow Normal Procedures –  Wilkins, the employee, terminated in Harris-Stowe, notified the president, vice-president, Dr. Smith, and the human resources director by email that her termination did not comply with Harris-Stowe policies and that she was contemplating legal action. Harris-Stowe policies required that this notification officials should be considered a complaint of race discrimination, which required that there had to be an investigation. There was no investigation as required by the policies of Harris-Stowe.

Reason Given For Termination Was Pretextual – The termination of Wilkins did not comport with Harris-Stowe existing policy on reducing its work force. Under the reduction-in-force policy, Harris–Stowe was required to terminate non-adjunct faculty by seniority.  Contrary to its internal policies, Harris-Stowe officials terminated Wilkins over the less senior African-American instructors while adding teaching staff, which made the effort to reduce the budget deficit look nonsensical.

Failure to have a policy of progressive discipline; treating Wilkins with contempt while removing her from the Harris-Stowe campus (It looked like she was under arrest when she was removed by security from the campus); hiring new teachers despite the budget reductions when Harris-Stowe was engaged in a reduction of its workforce due to budget limitations; and failure to explain in any way why the Wilkins was terminated show why there was a large verdict.  This list could go on and on. 

The above analysis focuses on the major glaring errors and should not be considered a comprehensive list. You may want to use the following link in developing your own checklist. Consider also the following short  check list.

Howard Wright © 2017

Posted in Law and Policy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The United States Supreme Court Clarifies Law Of Regulatory Takings

If your community is involved in a regulatory taking claim it is imperative that you understand the opinion in Murr v. Wisconsin. This opinion  by the United States Supreme Court  is powerful, making it the definitive source for understanding regulatory takings law. 

Facts – The Murr family (Petitioners) owned two adjacent lots along the Lower St. Croix River.  Tourists and residents of the region have long extolled the picturesque grandeur of the river and surrounding area.

Under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the river was designated for federal protection.  The States of Wisconsin and Minnesota then developed “a management and development program” for the river area in accordance with the Act.

Petitioners’ parents purchased Lots E and F separately in the 1960’s, and maintained them under separate ownership until transferring Lot E and F to Petitioners.  Both lots, because of their topography, had less than one acre suitable for development.  Lot E has a cabin on it while Lot F was undeveloped.  The transfer of the lots to the children of the Murr’s brought the two lots under one ownership thereby merging them by law under a local zoning regulation preventing Lots E and F from being “sold or developed as separate lots” because neither lot contained a sufficiently large area of buildable land (one acre or more).

Petitioners became interested in selling Lot E and moving the cabin on Lot E to Lot F as part of an improvement plan for the lots.  They sought variances from the St. Croix County Board of Adjustment, which denied the request.  The State Court of Appeals affirmed the Board’s findings, noting that the Petitioner’s had other options to enjoy and use their property, including eliminating the cabin and building a new residence on one lot or across both. The United States Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari to determine if the County regulations constituted a regulatory taking.

Argument – Petitioners argued that the regulations deprived them of all, or practically all, of the use of Lot E based on “…Petitioners’ appraisal of a unrebutted, estimated value of $40,000 as a undevelopable lot, on the counterfactual assumption that it could be sold as a separate property.” The regulations look more like a taking if you define “the property” as the metes and bounds description for each lot based on the principle that state law defines the “property” interest without consideration to the merger provision in the law.

Opinion: 

General Principles Of Regulatory Takings: The Court first established context by reviewing the history of Regulatory Takings Law.  This is very useful since it gets you out of the underbrush focusing on the big trees.  The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.  Guidelines established by the courts require that when a regulation is so onerous that it denies the owner of the property all economically reasonable beneficial productive use it constitutes a taking; except even when there is complete deprivation of use compensation is not required if the background principles of the State’s law of property and nuisance already place restrictions on the land.  In an earlier opinion the court recognized the relevance of state law and land use customs in determining if there was a taking.

Regulatory takings are characterized by “ad hoc, factual inquiries, designed to allow careful examination and weighing of all the relevant circumstances.”  “A central dynamic of the Court’s regulatory takings jurisprudence, then, is its flexibility,” allowing it to reconcile competing objectives (the individual’s right to retain the interests and exercise the freedoms at the core of private property ownership versus the government’s well- established power to “adjus[t] rights for the public good.”

 What Is the Proper Unit of Property To Measure Damages; In the Murr case, the critical question was a determination as to what was the proper unit of property against which to assess the effect of the challenge governmental action.  The majority opinion determined that the proper property unit was the value of the two lots as combined instead of each separate lot.  After all when the property was transferred to the current owners the county and state law provided that lots E and F were merged for development purposes.  The majority opinion concluded that the treatment of the land under state law would lead a landowner to anticipate that his holdings would be treated as one parcel, not, as separate tracts for development purposes. “The inquiry is objective, and the reasonable expectations at issue derive from background, customs and the whole of our legal tradition.”

Not only is the majority opinion well written and powerful the dissent authored by Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Alito and Thomas is also insightful because it offers an understanding of the majority opinion and no doubt in my mind will be the basis in future cases for challenging a regulation as a taking.  I would expect that we would see these competing views of how to analyze regulatory takings play out in future challenges, particularly if there are changes in the court’s liberal/conservative composition.

You may be interested in an earlier Post  dealing with the lack of authority under Missouri law to condemn property. This Post can be viewed by clicking here.

Howard Wright © 2017

 

 

 

 

Posted in Law and Policy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment