The Supreme Court issued it’s ruling on Friday June 25,2019 in the case of Knick vs. Township of Scott.
The Supreme Court struck down the precedent today, a hard-fought victory for property rights advocates.
In a 5-4 opinion(link is external), the justices sided with Pennsylvania resident Rose Mary Knick on a property rights issue likely to have ripple effects on land use and environmental regulations.
We now conclude that the state-litigation requirement imposes an unjustifiable burden on takings plaintiffs, conflicts with the rest of our takings jurisprudence, and must be overruled,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority, which included the rest of the court’s conservatives.
Roberts reasoned that landowners have a claim under the Fifth Amendment — which bars the government from taking property without compensation — as soon as the taking occurs and therefore have access to federal court right away.
Experts expect the ruling to have ramifications for similar challenges to local governments’ environmental regulations or land use plans — helping landowners get to federal court swiftly.
An important caveat is that the decision does not alter the substantive standard for evaluating regulatory takings claims, and such claims remain hard to win, but it ensures more landowners get their day in court.