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Property Rights

Little Pink Houses: The Kelo Decision and Its Impact on Us and Our Future

Phoenix Lawyers Chapter Wednesday, June 17, 09:00 AMThe Scottsdale Plaza Resort
7200 North Scottsdale Road
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Session 1
From New London to Jerome, There's No Place Like Home: Post-Kelo Property Rights - Christina Sandefur
Session 2
Eminent Scam: How Central Planners Run Roughshod Over Property Rights - Steve Greenhut, columnist -- U-T San Diego
Session 3
Keynote Address  - Attorney General Mark Brnovich
Session 4
Debate -- After Kelo: Next "Frontiers" in Private Property Rights - Tim Keller, Institute for Justice, & Cameron Artigue, Gammage & Burnham with moderator Kory Langhofer, Phoenix Fed Soc Vice President

Hana Financial v. Hana Bank - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 5-11-15 featuring Michael Risch
Michael Risch May 11, 2015

On January 21, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank. This trademark case involved a rule called "tacking", which permits the owner of a trademark to modify the trademark without losing the priority established by being the first user of the trademark. Tacking, however, is only permitted as long as the modified trademark establishes "the same, continuing commercial impression so that consumers consider both as the same mark."

The question in this case was whether the judge or the jury should determine whether a consumer would consider the original trademark and the modified trademark to be the same.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Sotomayor, the Court unanimously held that the jury, rather than a court, should determine whether the use of an older trademark may be tacked to a newer one.  The judgment of the Ninth Circuit was affirmed.

To discuss the case, we have Michael Risch, who is a Professor of Law at the Villanova University School of Law.

Raisin Growers Back in the Supreme Court – Horne v. USDA - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
John Elwood April 23, 2015

Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, the USDA has authority to regulate the sale of certain agricultural products, including California-grown raisins, through the use of “marketing orders.” The marketing order specific to California-grown raisins directs the Raisin Administrative Committee, a branch of the USDA, to establish a yearly raisin tonnage reserve requirement. Every year in February, raisin farmers are told what percentage of their crop is the “reserve requirement” they must turn over to the Committee. Failure to comply results in fines and penalties. In 2002 and 2003, the Horne family refused to comply and was fined over $700,000. In a 2013 decision, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that regulated entities cannot be compelled to pay regulatory fines before they may contest their constitutionality, under the Fifth Amendment’s protection against uncompensated government seizure of private property (the Takings Clause). On remand in Horne, the federal district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that there was no taking. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on April 22, 2015, and considered three questions: (1) Whether the government's “categorical duty” under the Fifth Amendment to pay just compensation when it “physically takes possession of an interest in property” applies only to real property and not to personal property; (2) whether the government may avoid the categorical duty to pay just compensation for a physical taking of property by reserving to the property owner a contingent interest in a portion of the value of the property, set at the government's discretion; and (3) whether a governmental mandate to relinquish specific, identifiable property as a “condition” on permission to engage in commerce effects a per se taking.

  • John Elwood, Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP

Does the Government's seizure of raisins violate the Takings Clause?

Short video with Ilya Somin discussing Horne v. USDA
Ilya Somin April 21, 2015

George Mason Law School Professor Ilya Somin previews an upcoming Supreme Court case in which Farmer Horne objects to an obscure government program stemming from 1930’s New Deal legislation in which raisin farmers are required to surrender a percentage of their crop to the Raisin Administrative Committee.  Petitioner and farmer Horne claims that being forced to turn over a percentage of his raisin crop to the government violates the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment. The government asserts that the Takings Clause does not apply to personal property, and even if it did, that Horne is fairly compensated because his overall profits are increased.

Professor Somin co-signed the amicus brief of Constitutional and Property Law Scholars in support of petitioner.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Henderson v. United States - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 4-7-15 featuring David Post
David G. Post April 07, 2015

On February 24, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Henderson v. United States. The question in this case is whether under Rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or under general principles of equity the court can order the government to either transfer firearms owned by a convicted felon to a third party or sell the firearms and return the proceeds to the defendant or whether the defendant's felony conviction, which renders the defendant legally unable to own firearms, prevents this.

To discuss the case, we have Prof. David Post, who is a Professor of Law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law.