Here's the first of two amicus briefs filed in support of the petitioner in the judicial takings case we mentioned last week.
This brief, filed by the New England Legal Foundation, the Cato Institute, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the Southeastern Legal Foundation, urges the Court to take the case, arguing that the Connecticut legislature's raiding of the bottle fund is a "classic case" of the type of burden-shifting that Armstrong tells us is a taking. The judicial takings problem arose because in order to uphold the legislative action, the Connecticut Supreme Court had to blow by established property rights:
Amici’s interest in this case arises out of their commitment to the protection of private property rights and economic freedom. The case involves Connecticut’s assertion of the power to take private property (i.e., targeted funds of money) for public use without compensation, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
In the midst of a fiscal crisis, the state legislature passed a bill that imposed on Petitioners a financial exaction so that the state could pay for public benefits that should properly be borne by the public as a whole. Although Petitioners successfully challenged the law in the trial court, the state Supreme Court ruled that Petitioners had no right to the money at all. The ruling was contrary to decades of settled expectations concerning their rights to such funds, rights acknowledged even by the state agency charged with implementing the Bottle Bill.
Brief at 3.
One more amicus brief to follow.