On Monday, June 20, Boalt’s Environmental Law Program hosted a crowded session on the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest rulings on regulatory takings. More than 70 people attended the panel, where Andrew Schwartz and Eric Grant ’90 joined Professor Emeritus Joseph Sax on a panel moderated by Professor Daniel Farber to discuss the three cases before the court this term: Lingle v. Chevron USA, Kelo v. City of New London and San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco. Both Schwartz and Grant had personal stakes in the court’s rulings this year: Schwartz, now with Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, is a former deputy city attorney for San Francisco and handled the municipality’s litigation in San Remo Hotel and contributed to an amicus curiae brief in Kelo; Grant, in solo practice in Sacramento focusing in part on land use and environmental issues, wrote an amicus brief for a group of Florida landowners in San Remo Hotel.
In all three cases discussed Monday, the court ruled in favor of government entities and against property owners challenging regulations they claimed amounted to takings under the 5th Amendment. The principal question before the Boalt panel: What long-term effect will the 2005 cases have on the direction of takings jurisprudence? And on that issue, panelists were divided on whether the impact will be ephemeral or lasting.