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Is Merger Doomed: SCOTUS to Decide

Whoever thought up merger probably long ago gave up worrying if it was unconstitutional, if they even ever thought about it. But now that person (and numerous cities, counties, and states) have reason to worry.

In Murr v. Wisconsin the Supreme Court will decide whether merger provisions in state law and local ordinances, where nonconforming, adjacent lots under common ownership are combined for zoning purposes, may result in the unconstitutional taking of property. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief arguing that these very common provisions are constitutional. 

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Raisin Takings Case: What’s in it for Local Governments?

Same-sex marriage, Affordable Care Act, raisins. What do these three have in common?  The Supreme Court has recently issued a ruling regarding each of them.

In Horne v. Department of Agriculture the Supreme Court held 8-1 that the federal government violated the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause by physically setting aside a percentage of a grower’s raisin crop each year without pay. At least six other agriculture set aside programs are in trouble as a result of this case. But what about its impact on state and local government?

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Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are last week’s published decisions involving local governments:court collumn

Fourth Circuit

  • Cherry v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City, No. 13-1007 (Aug. 6, 2014): In case brought by active and retired Baltimore police officers and fire fighters who participate in City’s pension plan, reversing district court’s decision that the City had violated the Contract Clause and affirming that the City had not violated the Takings Clause by changing how it calcualtes pension benefits.

Fifth Circuit

  • Thompson v. Mercer, No. 13-10773 (Aug. 7, 2014): In 1983 action against officer who shot and killed individual who had stolen vehicle and led police on a two-hour, high-speed chase, affirming grant of qualified immunity to officer because use of deadly force was not a constitutional violation.
  • Sullo & Bobbitt v. Milner, No. 13-10869 (Aug. 6, 2014): In unpublished decision, affirming dismissal of case brought by attorneys claiming First-Amendment right to access misdemeanor court records within one day of their filing.

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Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are last week’s published decisions involving local governments:Gavel

Second Circuit

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Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are last week’s published decisions involving local governments:NinthCircuit

Third Circuit

  • M.R. v. Ridley School District, No. 12-4137 (Feb. 20, 2014) (finding under Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act that for “stay put” period: (1) school district must reimburse parents for private-school costs even if parents do not file a claim for payment until after a court has ruled for the school; and (2) the parents’ right to interim funding extends through the time of judicial appeal.).

Fourth Circuit

 

Supreme Court Decisions a Local-Government Attorney Might Read Again – Koontz

If you condition a land-use permit on mitigation or other responsibilities, you may have to defend the condition under Koontz.

If you condition a land-use permit on mitigation or other responsibilities, you may have to defend the condition under Koontz.

With the Supreme Court recently concluding its 2012 term, now is a good time to look back.

You have likely heard plenty about the Court’s high-profile holdings, including that:

But it’s often the decisions that slip by quietly that impact you most. We’ll be publishing a series of posts about decisions that didn’t get a lot of press, but that are worth revisiting.

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