Trump appointees to SCOTUS having major impact

The Daily Caller headlines its post by Kevin Daley, “Kagan Seethes As High Court Conservatives Deliver Property Rights Win.”

It contains less legalese than the SCOTUSblog, but they each cover this significant case and Justice Elena Kagan’s searing rebuke of her conservative colleagues, accusing them of smashing “a hundred-plus years of legal rulings to smithereens.”

The dissent noted Friday’s case was the second time this term that the conservative justices have overturned a controlling precedent, prompting Kagan to ask, forebodingly, which precedent the high court will overrule next.

“Just last month, when the Court overturned another longstanding precedent, Justice [Stephen] Breyer penned a dissent,” Kagan wrote. “He wrote of the dangers of reversing legal course ‘only because five members of a later Court’ decide that an earlier ruling was incorrect. He concluded: ‘Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.’”

“Well, that didn’t take long,” Kagan added. “Now one may wonder yet again.”

Kagan was referencing Breyer’s May dissent in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, which asked whether states are immune from lawsuits in the courts of other states. In Hyatt, the five-justice conservative majority overturned a 1979 decision and said the states do indeed have sovereign immunity in the courts of their sister states.

Friday’s property rights dispute arose when a small town in Pennsylvania adopted an ordinance requiring that cemeteries “be kept open and accessible to the general public during daylight hours.” The town told Rose Mary Knick, whose 90-acre property includes a small family cemetery, that she must comply with the rule. Knick sued, saying the ordinance violates the takings clause of the Constitution. The takings clause says the government must compensate property owners for any land seized for public use.

 A 1985 Supreme Court case called Williamson County v. Hamilton Bank required Knick to seek compensation at the state level before going to federal court. Indeed, that ruling required Knick and plaintiffs like her to exhaust all possible state compensation remedies before turning to the federal judiciary.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said the Williamson County decision was wrong and Knick can go to a federal judge right away.

“Williamson County was not just wrong,” the chief wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally ill founded and conflicted with much of our takings jurisprudence.”

The Williamson County ruling, Roberts said elsewhere, imposes “an unjustifiable burden on takings plaintiffs, conflicts with the rest of our takings jurisprudence, and must be overruled. A property owner has an actionable Fifth Amendment takings claim when the government takes his property without paying for it.”

The chief justice noted the Court considers several factors when deciding to overrule a prior decision. In that connection, he cited the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME decision, which said government unions cannot force non-members to pay so-called agency fees. The citation to Janus drew a sharp rebuke from Kagan.

“If that is the way the majority means to proceed — relying on one subversion of stare decisis to support another — we may as well not have principles about precedents at all,” Kagan wrote. “Stare decisis” is a Latin legal term meaning “to stand by things decided.” Janus overturned the 1977 Abood v. Detroit Board of Education ruling.

Friday’s case is No. 17-647, Knick v. Township of Scott.

This was the Aug. 5, 2010 senate roll call vote on Elena Kagen’s confirmation.

10 Responses to Trump appointees to SCOTUS having major impact

  1. Maggie says:

    I thought this post was going to be too dry to interest me. Not the case. I recommend this to ANY property owner. BTW, Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama. Pres. Trump’s impact on the courts has been phenomenal.

  2. East Valley Conservative says:

    The East Valley Tribune covered the story of Mesa’s highly publicized attempt to use eminent domain to seize Randy Bailey’s downtown brake shop, using the condemnation con. After it received national attention, including on “60” minutes, Bailey won in the AZ Court of Appeals!!

  3. Saguaro Sam says:

    Kagan’s remarks seem to indicate that she has no respect for the Constitution.

    Scalia wrote this in 2015
    Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015)

    “. . .A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy. . .”

    (And his stance on illegal immigration was getting a little too uncomfortable for the cabal, hence they had him whacked.)

    Lowretta Lynch will never get her robe, but she might get an orange jumpsuit. Protective custody, currently.

    • MacBeth says:

      This chart of the current justices on the US Supreme Court is chock full of information. Place your cursor over the photo of each justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 86 and in ill health, but refuses to retire because she knows Trump will replace her.

    • Sam Fox says:

      Scalia called the USA a democracy????? He was on the Supreme Court & thought the USA is/was a Democracy? Hmmm…I was under the impression that the USA is a Constitutional Republic.

      Lots of pundits call US a democracy. They are all incorrect.


  4. Kent says:

    When the government wants your property, it can be taken through a legal overreach known as “eminent domain.” The government in effect, condemns the property and decides what it considers to be fair compensation to the property owner. That money is taxable. This occurs most often when there is a higher taxed entity than a home or small business on property that is desired by a city, for its increased revenue. Private property is routinely condemned/stolen in this manner. Another example is when cities condemn large tracts of homes forcing out longtime homeowners, many elderly, as Phoenix did along North 19th Ave. It was done to facilitate the light rail. I drove that area to work several years ago and saw the vacant parcels surrounded by chain link fencing, where homes once stood. That was the sight for the years I drove that area. Live and work in another area now, so have no idea how that eventually turned out.

  5. Frankly Speaking says:

    Remember the outrage over the Kelo decision? The Institute for Justice explains what too few of us are aware of. We think of our home as our castle.

  6. Villanova says:

    Although he ultimately voted against her confirmation, Arizonans can thank Jon Kyl for Kagan,

    Republicans held enough seats to launch a successful filibuster. However, Kagan was able to garner the support of five Republicrats…Richard Lugar, Lindsey Graham, Judd Gregg, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins.

    Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl also did not support using it, stating: “The filibuster should be relegated to extreme circumstances, and I don’t think Elena Kagan represents that.”

    She had a liberal background and a paper trail as Solicitor General. What does it take to convince him?

    • Clementine says:

      As we saw with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats are not so gallant. They draw and quarter Trump’s nominees.

  7. State Delegate says:

    Pres. Trump’s judicial appointees are a major factor in the Dims desperation in wanting to get him out of office. They are so worried he’ll be reelected that they are working to impeach him. Nancy Pelosi is concerned on the backfiring such a move could have on the Democrats, one of the few times ditzy Pelosi has been perceptive.