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Community Rights Report Newsletter - Quote of the Month

(Past Quote of the Month Archives: 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004).

JULY 2005

"Despite wishful thinking on Palazzolo's part, he paid a modest sum to invest in a proposed subdivision that he must have known from the outset was problematic at best. Constitutional law does not require the state to guarantee a bad investment."

Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, C.A. No. WM 88-0297 (R.I. Super Ct. July 5, 2005)

JUNE 2005

Viewed as a whole, our jurisprudence has recognized that the needs of society have varied between different parts of the Nation, just as they have evolved over time in response to changed circumstances. Our earliest cases in particular embodied a strong theme of federalism, emphasizing the "great respect" that we owe to state legislatures and state courts in discerning local public needs.

Kelo v. City of New London (U.S. 2005)

MAY 2005

"On occasion, a would be doctrinal rule or test finds its way into our case law through simple repetition of a phrase however fortuitously coined. * * * This case requires us to decide whether the 'substantially advances' formula announced in Agins is an appropriate test for determining whether a regulation effects a Fifth Amendment taking. We conclude that it is not."

Lingle v. Chevron (U.S. 2005)

APRIL 2005

"In areas of traditional state regulation, we assume that a federal statute has not supplanted state law unless Congress has made such an intention 'clear and manifest.'"

Bates v. Dow Agrosciences, slip op. at 16 (U.S. April 27, 2005)

MARCH 2005

"So we have to eat crow no matter what we do, right?"

Justice Antonin Scalia during the oral argument in Lingle v. Chevron, evidently recognizing the need for the Court to confess error in articulating the "substantially advance" test in Agins v. City of Tiburon (1980).


"Isn't that changing the test for 'public use' to 'efficient public use'? You want us to sit here and evaluate the prospects of each condemnation, one by one?"

Justice Antonin Scalia at the oral argument in Kelo v. New London, questioning counsel for the landowners about their proposed heightened scrutiny for eminent domain use to promote economic development.


"[T]he idea that courts had the power to supervise legislative expropriations would have been unfamiliar to the members of the Congress who drafted the so-called Takings Clause."

Matthew P. Harrington, "Public Use" and the Original Understanding of the So-called Takings Clause, 53 Hastings L. J. 1245 (2002) (explaining why courts should respect legislative decisions to use eminent domain).



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