On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Horne v. U.S.D.A., No. 14-275, the second time this case has been to the Court.
The first time around, the unanimous Court held that the Hornes could raise the Takings clause as a defense to the USDA's action to enforce a regulatory scheme that Justice Kagan characterized as perhaps "the world's most outdated law," and which was derided by Justice Scalia as "a crazy statute."
The Court remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit, which, to no one's real surprise, held that the scheme was not a taking. The Court again granted cert to consider these Questions Presented:
- Does the government's "categorical duty" under the Fifth Amendment to pay just compensation when it "physically takes possession of an interest in property," Arkansas Game & Fish Comm'n v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 511, 518 (2012), apply only to real property and not to personal property?
- May the government avoid the categorical duty to pay just compensation for a physical taking of property by reserving to the property owner a contingent interest in a portion of the value of the property, set at the government's discretion?
- Does a governmental mandate to relinquish specific, identifiable property as a "condition" on permission to engage in commerce effect a per se taking?
Here are the merits briefs of the parties:
- Brief for Petitioner Marvin D. Horne
- Brief for Respondent United States Department of Agriculture
- Reply Brief for Petitioner Marvin D. Horne
Amicus briefs supporting the property owner:
- Brief for Baylen J. Linnekin and Keep Food Legal Foundation in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the CATO Institute, National Federation of Independent Business, National Association of Home Builders, Reason Foundation, and Southeastern Legal Foundation in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for Constitutional and Property Law Scholars in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the DKT Liberty Project and 33 Independent Raisin Growers in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Federal Circuit Bar Association in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Institute for Justice in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Mountain States Legal Foundation in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Pacific Legal Foundation in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Rutherford Institute in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for Texas, Arizona, and North Dakota in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Washington Legal Foundation in Support of Petitioner
Amicus briefs supporting the government:
George Will weighed in on the case here ("Shriveled grapes, shriveled liberty").
There will be more on this important case, so stay tuned.