We already knew from its amicus brief brief that the federal government supported the property owner in Knick v. Township of Scott, No. 17-647, the case in which the US. Supreme Court agreed to review the continuing validity of the "state procedures" rule of Williamson County Regional Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172 (1985). The SG's brief called for the Court to vacate and remand the dismissal of Knick's case. We also filed an amicus brief in support of Ms. Knick.
But recently, the feds have doubled down by filing a motion to participate in oral argument and to split time with the Petitioner, which notes:
The United States has filed a brief as amicus curiae supporting vacatur and remand. The brief argues that Williamson County correctly recognized that the Fifth Amendment does not “require that just compensation be paid in advance of, or contemporaneously with, [a] taking.” 473 U.S. at 194. Instead, the Court has long held that what is required for a lawful taking of property for public use “is that a ‘reasonable, certain and adequate provision for obtaining compensation’ exist at the time of the taking.” Ibid. (citation omitted). But that well-settled constitutional rule should not prevent owners whose property is taken by local governments from enforcing their Fifth Amendment rights in a federal forum. As the United States explains in its brief, the Court should make clear -- either by clarifying the Williamson County rule or by reconsidering and rejecting it -- that those owners may seek just compensation in federal court.
Motion at 3.
We have no doubt that the Court will grant the motion, and will take the federal government's position very seriously. At least for the time being, the SG remains the "tenth Justice," correct?
The Township, by the way, has filed its merits brief which you can read here. We'll have a separate post on that once we've had a chance to read and review it.
Oral arguments are set for October 3, 2018, and since we'll be in the neighborhood, we may just attend and bring you and in-person report.