Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges
Term Year: 2018

Rose Mary Knick, Petitioner v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, et al.

Summary Analysis

DATE: 2019-06-21
DOCKET: 17-647
NAME: Rose Mary Knick, Petitioner v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, et al.

   AUTHOR: Roberts
   JOINING: Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh
   GOOD: Yes

OPINION: Concurring
   AUTHOR: Thomas
   JOINING: None
   GOOD: No

OPINION: Dissenting
   AUTHOR: Kagan
   JOINING: Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor
   GOOD: No

Case Commentary

Per The Court's Decision:
The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment states that "private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation."

In some wonderful twist of logic, the old rule used to be that when States take their Citizen's property, the States themselves could decide what was "just compensation" and the effected Citizens had no recourse should they feel cheated.

Now, Citizen's can sue in Federal Court.

Sure, it's more complicated than that. After all, between all the Opinions, forty-eight pages of paper are wasted.

But to this Non Lawyer (insert appropriate disclaimer here), it boils down to:

In my mind, this is fair, as allowing the Taker to decide what they pay invites underpayment. And as such, The Fed serves as a Neutral Third Party.

Because the case is so self evident (to me, anyway), almost the entirety of the Dissent's analysis is consumed by discussing stare decisi, a concept to which I give no weight.

Per The Court, which is arguing against stare decisi, so their choice of words may be more than a bit biased:
The doctrine of stare decisi reflects a judgement that in most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right. (internal quotes omitted)
Like I said, The Court, which is arguing against stare decisi chose these words. And they do a pretty good job of explaining why I give no weight to stare decisi. I believe it is more important to settle it right than to maintain tradition.

Anyway, The Dissent sort of refuses to throw in the towel. And even though The Court acknowledges that it is overthrowing a prior decision, The Dissent seems (to me) to drone on and on about how The Court is going against precedent... which it is and has admitted to doing, so really, The Dissent says almost nothing.

'Hey! You cheated!'
'Yes. Yes, I did. Cheating is now allowed.'
'Why didn't you tell me?'
'I am telling you now.'
'But still. You cheated.'
'Sorry, I got nothing.'

In the closing remarks of Thomas' Concurring Opinion, he says, 'I do not understand...'

And in response, I will make the witty response that 'I did not understand' what Thomas was getting at, certainly not in his closing remark, as it seems contradictory to me, so I cannot agree with him.

You know, Mr Thomas (or should that be Justice Thomas), I like ribbing you (if that is what we are going to call a bit of name calling). But it could be worse. You could be a non-entity... which defines about half the court for me.

Finally, I will point out that per The Court's Decision, a Violation of The Constitution occurs at the time when a State (or presumably, The Fed) takes (something, anything) without paying for it.

Personally, that's a bit of syntax for me.
Take -> Violation -> Erased Upon Payment

Take -> Non Payment -> Violation
If one is not adding penalties for the Violation, it's existence (however fictional) is meaningless.

Judging the Judges

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Take Not
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Pay Not
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© copyright 2019 Brett Paufler
A Personal Opinion/Editorial