SCOTUS Sides With Landowners in Takings Clause Case

For the second time in two weeks, the Supreme Court upholds private property rights after NAR steps in.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its second unanimous ruling in as many weeks Tuesday in favor of property rights under the Constitution’s takings clause, which states that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

This latest case, DeVillier v. Texas, was brought by a Texas man whose land repeatedly flooded after the state changed a nearby highway. He sued the state, along with 120 others, and all the cases were combined into one in federal court, where Texas officials sought to have it dismissed.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said Texas law provides DeVillier with a cause of action for compensation, which he may pursue. This is a technical ruling based on procedure but one that is no less important. The court essentially removed barriers preventing DeVillier from his “just compensation.”

The National Association of REALTORS® joined the Texas REALTORS® and American Property Owners Alliance in filing an amicus brief in support of the landowners last year, saying takings like these can artificially increase real estate costs, restrict fundamental property rights and hinder potential development opportunities.

Lawsuits can take years to resolve, but they are vital to NAR’s advocacy. The association has had numerous victories in local, state and federal courts and is not hesitant to go all the way to the Supreme Court in defense of property rights.

NAR is America’s largest private property rights organization, with 1.5 million members who support and counsel the association on issues around the country. Even the smallest cases can have a vast, nationwide impact, and NAR’s legal advocacy remains vigilant and strong.