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SubjectUpdate of U.S. Supreme Court Case
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July 15, 2016


Update on US Supreme Court Case


Our CSA Newsletter of June 15th advised that San Juan County had waived its right to respond to the Petition for Writ of Certiorari submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on May 10th by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) on behalf of CSA.  At that time, CSA anticipated that SCOTUS would decide during their June 23rd conference if they would hear the case of Common Sense Alliance v. San Juan County.


However, since the County intentionally declined to file a response, SCOTUS has stepped in and specifically ordered the County to answer our Petition, and has given them until August 3, 2016 to do so.


A response from the County allows PLF an opportunity to reply to that paperwork, and that reply will be due August 17, 2016.  This change in the pleading schedule means that SCOTUS will consider the Petition in Common Sense Alliance v. San Juan County in its conference on September 28, 2016.


For your information, CSA and PLF have received support from the Cato Institute and Reason Foundation, joined by the National Association of Home Builders, as well as others, with an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief.  They explain that CSA’s case against San Juan County illustrates how local governments work to engineer a way to avoid the prohibition on uncompensated takings by carving out an exception for so-called “legislatively imposed” land use conditions. 


The County claims that those legislatively imposed requirements for development are exempt from the “unconstitutional conditions” doctrine imposed by existing Supreme Court precedent.


Contrary to the County’s position, Cato and others emphasize that the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, on which the SCOTUS decisions in Nollan, Dolan, and Koontz are based, is commonly applied to legislative exactions or “takings” in the Fifth Amendment context and should therefore be the controlling law in this case.


See previous CSA Newsletters for more information.


Common Sense Alliance
P.O. 1249 Friday Harbor, 98250

Common Sense Alliance (CSA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in San Juan County.  CSA depends upon individual donors to support its efforts in your behalf.  Funds provided by you are used to retain outside legal counsel, subject matter experts and to pay other expenses necessary to fund these activities.

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