SCOTUS Grants Certiorari in Another Inverse Condemnation Case

The US Supreme Courtt has granted certiorari in a taking case. It’s a type of exaction case in which California raisin growers are required to give 47% of their crops to a government entity as a condition to being permitted to sell the rest of their raisins on the open market. Horne challenged the constitutionality of that provision when the government brought an enforcement action. The case is Horne v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, opinion below is 673 F.3d 1077 (9th Cir. 2011), now SCOTUS docket No. 12-236.

For additional details go to www.inversecondemnation.com that contains a link to the SCOTUS docket sheet, and some useful commentary by our fellow blogmeister, Robert H. Thomas.

The issue is one of remedies. The 9th Circuit held that the raisin growers could not challenge the constitutionality of the regulation by way of a taking defense in a federal enforcement action brought by the government in District Court, but should have yielded to the unlawful government demand and then sued for just compensation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the Tucker Act. In other words, this looks sort of like the “Tucker Act shuffle” to which SCOTUS subjected the owners in the Preseault case (with an eventual happy ending, albeit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Federal Circuit after the owner lost in the U.S. District Court).  Except this case is more like a cross between Preseault and Sackett. So stay tuned.

For additional commentary check out SCOTUSblog — click here to read Lyle Denniston, Court to Rule on Raisin Program, Nov. 20, 2012.

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