On Monday the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Murr v. Wisconsin, a case over whether Wisconsin should have to pay for a partial taking of land:
Joseph Murr and his siblings own two side-by-side lakeside lots, one with a recreational cabin and the other left vacant as an investment. Due to land-use restrictions, they allege that Wisconsin has “taken” the vacant lot, which would require the state to pay just compensation under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. Wisconsin courts rejected this claim by considering the economic use of the two lots combined. The Murr case thus asks how courts should define the “relevant parcel” of land when evaluating regulatory takings. Cato filed a brief in this case, arguing that current regulatory-takings jurisprudence is unclear and puts a thumb on the scale for the government. Another amicus brief, filed by Nevada and eight other states and co-authored by Ilya Somin, argues that the Wisconsin court’s rule “creates significant perverse incentives for both landowners and regulators.”
Last Friday Cato held a panel discussion on the case, introduced by Todd Gaziano of Pacific Legal Foundation, with Roger Pilon of Cato, Michael Pappas of the University of Maryland, and Ilya Somin, Scalia/George Mason Law School, with Cato’s Ilya Shapiro moderating. On Monday the Wall Street Journal published Roger Pilon’s opinion piece on the case. More: Ilya Somin, Rick Hills.