If you follow this stuff, you must know already that there is coming upon us a tide of CLE programs about Koontz, what it says, what it means and what it portends for the future. We are sitting this one out because, truth to tell, with the exception of our usual gig (the ALI-CLE programs on eminent domain and Land Use) nobody has asked us to give it a shot — which may be a good thing because much of what we have to say about the government conduct that led to these decisions may be what in the old days was referred to as “unprintable.”
On a vaguely related subject, we need to mention that CBS News had a pretty good segment last night on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Harvey Cedars case, on which we posted a couple of days ago. Actually we saw it around 3:00 AM (which will give you a clue to how important a story CBS thinks it is). So technically, it should be counted as running today. It wasn’t bad and it contained a lot of good pictures of the subject property. We think it is worth seeing if only for that reason. If you can find it, we recommend that you do see it.
Moving right along, the tidelet of CLE programs on Koontz et al. is about to inundate the CLE market, with the usual suspects pro and con, taking sides on the profound moral question of whether kleptocracy — whether involving government theft of raisins, coin of the realm, houseboats, or $10 million worth of standing timber* — is a permissibly constitutional mode of governance. Doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to us to conclude that permitting such government conduct was not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they forbade uncompensated takings in the Fifth Amendment. After all, their main complaint that led to the American revolution was that his Brittanic Majesty and his royal minions were sticking their hands too deeply into the American colonists’ pockets.
* Note that each of these cases — Horne (raisisns), Lozman (a houseboat), Koontz (money), and acres of standing timber (Arkansas Fish & Game Commission) involved physical takings, which goes to show you the level of chutzpa of the government, being as physical takings are deemed takings per se like it says in the Teleprompter Manhattan case.