Dissent After SCOTUS Nixes Takings Claim

     WASHINGTON (CN) — Two Supreme Court conservatives voiced disapproval Monday as their colleagues closed the book on an unsuccessful takings case against the government.
     Arrigoni Enterprises brought the case initially as a federal complaint in Connecticut, complaining about its 14 denied applications for development permits in Durham.
     In addition to contending that the town had effected an unconstitutional inverse condemnation of its property, Arrigoni said Durham trampled its due-process and equal-protection rigts.
     A federal judge dismissed the inverse-condemnation claim, granted the town summary judgment on due-process claim and sent the equal-protection claim to trial.
     After a jury sided with the town on that issue, the court refused to declare the town’s zoning regulations unconstitutionally vague in a post-trial ruling.
     The Second Circuit affirmed by summary order last year, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the case without comment Monday, as is its custom.
     Justice Clarence Thomas complained in dissent, however, that the court had missed an opportunity to overrule the 1985 decision Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City.
     In the 30 years since the court decided Williamson County, individual justices have expressed grave doubts about the validity of that decision and have called for reconsideration,” Thomas wrote, joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy. “This case presents the opportunity to consider whether there are any justifications for the ahistorical, atextual, and anomalous state-litigation rule, and if not, to overrule Williamson County. I respectfully dissent from the denial of certiorari.”

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