by Trevor Burrus
for Cato Institute
Today, in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, the Supreme Court rebuked another attempt by the Obama administration to adopt a novel and extreme litigating position that was contrary to well-established precedent. Eight justices agreed with Cato’s amicus brief, holding that the United States does not retain a property interest in former railroad lands that are no longer used by railroads. Although this may seem like an arcane issue for Cato to be involved in, the case actually resembles a typical takings case, but this time the government tried to define a property right out of existence rather than pay compensation to the owners. Continue reading
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A handful of Port Orchard homeowners are fighting city hall to protect their way of life. They fear the city wants to take their waterfront homes to build a pedestrian path.
Randy Jones is one of those homeowners; he bought his home, which rests on pilings over the Port Orchard beach, 35 years ago. He’s made friends with the seagulls, hand-raised orphan geese, and still waits anxiously for high tide and salmon season. “The tide comes in…you can see salmon coming underneath your house.”
At issue in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. USA is the Forest Service’s program for turning abandoned railways into trails, or rails-to-trails.
Brandt, of Fox Park, owns 83 acres of land he acquired from the Forest Service in 1976.
The land was once part of a government easement for a railroad that operated from 1904 to 1995. The Laramie, Hahn’s Peak and Pacific Railroad Co. operated the track, which ran 66 miles from Laramie, Wyo., to the Colorado line. Continue reading
July 23, 2012
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]