On June 21, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a 1985 precedent that prevented individuals claiming a violation of their Fifth Amendment property rights from bringing their claims in federal court. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging that the 1985 precedent conflicted with historical understandings of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. The Court agreed with WLF that the federal courts have traditionally been open to anyone asserting a violation of their constitutional rights and that there is no reason to deny that same privilege to property-rights claimants. The Court noted that the 1985 decision was based an erroneous assumption: that claimants would be permitted to file in federal court after seeking (and being denied) compensation in state courts. Later decisions exposed the error: normal issue-preclusion rules bar re-litigation after a state court has rejected compensation claims. WLF’s amicus curiae brief was joined by the Allied Educational Foundation.


June 21, 2019 decision