Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Over at the VC, Jonathan Adler has an interesting post on Wilkie v. Robbins, a potentially important property case that was argued before the Supreme Court yesterday. An excerpt:
The facts of the case are straightforward: The federal Bureau of Land Management acquired an easement on a ranch, but neglected to record it. Robbins subsequently purchased the ranch and, due to the BLM's mistake, acquired the property sans easement. BLM officials demanded that he sign it over anyway, and when Robbins refused the government officials sought to give him a "hardball education" and retaliated by, among other things, harassing Robbins and his guests, filing trumped up charges against him. After this conduct continued for some time, Robbins had enough and sued the BLM agents involved for damages, and won.
The issue is whether the Fifth Amendment protects property owners against this type of retaliation. The case has some takings aspects and some substantive due process aspects. It will be interesting to see what the Court does with it.
UPDATE: ScotusBlog also has a detailed post on the case.
UPDATE2: Ilya Somin has some additional comments at the VC.
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