The question before the justices was simple: Did the flooding constitute a "taking" of property deserving of compensation, even though it was temporary? The lowest federal court said yes. The appeals court said no.Score one for property owners. Is the EPA listening?
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the full court except for Justice Elena Kagan who did not take part in the case, said the government's actions did amount to a taking.
"Government acquisition or invasion of property can be a taking even when temporary in nature," Ginsburg said. "These settled holdings lead us to conclude that government-induced flooding of limited duration, but severe impact, can amount to a taking of property warranting just compensation."
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Can the government flood somebody's property and not compensate them for it? The Supreme Court says no: