I received a nice packet the other day celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pacific Legal Foundation, based in Sacramento, California. I’ve been aware of their good works for most of those 50 years, but their recent legal victories are truly remarkable.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Tyler v Hennepin County that it is an unconstitutional taking for a government to seize a taxpayer’s property to satisfy tax debt, and then pocket the value of the property that is far above the debt – a practice called home equity theft. Governments all over the country will now have to repeal those theft statutes.
In another case called Sackett vs. EPA, Pacific Legal Foundation persuaded the Supreme Court that the Federal government and its Army Corps of Engineers, with jurisdiction over navigable waterways, did not have jurisdiction over vernal pools , drainage ditches and backyard ponds – just navigable waterways.
In a third case, Wilkins v. US, the Court ruled 6-3 - 3 liberals and 3 conservatives in the majority - that a landowner couldn’t be denied jurisdiction to sue to achieve Quiet Title over an easement held by the government.
Congratulations to Pacific Legal Foundation for winning these three – and over the years 11 other – cases standing up for ordinary citizens whose property was gobbled up by voracious and unprincipled governments.
If you’d like a copy of PLF’s handsome 50th anniversary report, I’m sure you can request it at pacificlegal.org.