APA Disappointed With Supreme Court's Decision in Takings Case

The decision in Knick v. Township of Scott prompted a response from the American Planning Association.
June 24, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mark Fischer

A ruling last week from the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Knick v. Township of Scott inspired national news coverage of the ongoing ideological battle on the highest court in the land, also prompting a statement from the American Planning Association that expressed disappointment with the decision.

"The Supreme Court’s liberal and conservative members clashed again Friday [June 21, 2019] on respecting the court’s precedents, this time about when a property owner aggrieved by a local government’s restriction on her land can go to federal court," reports Robert Barnes for The Washington Post.

The 5-4 decision overturned a ruling from 1985 that the "conservative legal establishment" had targeted for reform because it "left property owners without options in federal court if claims in state proceedings are unsatisfactory."

Barnes mostly focuses on the concern among liberal members of the Supreme Court that this case is another example of willingness of the current court to overthrow precedent. Another article by Arianne de Vogue for CNN also focuses on those dynamics of the Supreme Court after the surprise election of Donald Trump.

The American Planning Association picked up on the planning related consequences of the decision, with a statement published online and shared on social media. The state reads, in part:

The American Planning Association (APA) is disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in Knick v. Township of Scott. The decision upends established precedent for addressing takings challenges and poses potential obstacles for important local land use decisions that benefit communities.

Here's more on the potential consequences of the decision:

The potential for frivolous takings claims to clog federal courts and push local governments into undermining important protections for health, environment, safety, and quality of life for all residents is a real possibility after today’s decision.

A soundbite from John Baker, chair of APA’s Amicus Curiae Committee, is also included in the statement:

“APA urged the Supreme Court to ... decide the case based on existing legal principles, while at the same time clarifying those principles so as to curb their abuses,” said John Baker, chair of APA’s Amicus Curiae Committee. “Instead, by a single vote, the Supreme Court took a meat-ax approach, explicitly overturning a 7-1 decision from 1985 and trivializing language in the Court’s own decisions dating back over 125 years.”

Full Story:
Published on Friday, June 21, 2019 in American Planning Association
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