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Supreme Court trashes property rights in latest decision

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention of States Project

Five Supreme Court justices ruled over the weekend that governments can dictate how private property owners must parcel their land, even if that renders the value of the land worthless.

According to a report from Reuters:

The dispute began in 2004 when the four Murr siblings, who own two adjacent parcels of land on the St. Croix River in Troy, Wisconsin, wanted to sell an empty lot purchased by their late parents decades ago as a family investment, hoping to fund repairs to their family cabin on the adjacent parcel.

Citing zoning regulations, county officials told them it was too small to develop and they would have to sell it with the adjacent lot.

The Murrs sued, alleging that the government had effectively taken the land without compensation. Without the ability to sell or develop the lot, it had been rendered economically useless, they said.

The Supreme Court sided with the state. According to Reuters, "government officials can combine separate parcels of private land in determining whether public officials have effectively taken private property through zoning laws and must pay compensation."

The ruling could make it harder for property owners to prove compensation claims.

"This is an unfortunate decision for the Murrs, and all property owners," said John Groen, executive vice president and general counsel of the Pacific Legal Foundation, the conservative legal group that represented the family.

The Supreme Court is the primary mechanism by which the government has increased its power. The President and the Congress are unwilling or unable to limit the power of the Courts, which is why the people must do it for them.

An Article V Convention of States has the authority to propose constitutional amendments that give We the People a way to fight big-government decisions. The Courts have run roughshod over the rights of the people for long enough. It's time to change the status quo in D.C.


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