Today, in a case we've been following (because we filed a brief in support of the property owner), the California Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion essentially rewrote California's precondemnation entry statute to give the government a pass.
The court assumed that entries which exceed the relatively minor entries contemplated by its prior decisions are takings (they are physical occupations, after all), but held that the burden is on the landowner to sue for inverse condemnation, and that the California Constitution doesn't require a predeprivation process or payment of just compensation.
The vibe of the government's argument has always been that were the California Supreme Court to affirm the ruling by the Court of Appeals -- that as takings, these entries themselves are subject to the protections of the eminent domain process -- the sky was going to fall. It would just be so bloody inconvenient for condemnors. And it might cost more. And it might slow down projects. And we know what arguments like that get you in the California Supreme Court: a very friendly ear.
The opinion was authored by the one Justice who seemed at oral arguments to understand the least about the case -- Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye -- but that's par for that court, too, we suppose.
We're still digesting the opinion and will have more.