We tend not to think of the Supreme Court as having an impact on real estate investing but it does, especially when it comes to property rights. Over the years the highest court in the land has rendered many decisions that talk about what people can do with their property.
“The makeup of the Supreme Court and the individual justices that sit on the bench has a profound impact on our lives in the USA, and a make-or-break impact on some commercial real estate businesses,” explains Jeff Holzmann, CEO at IIRR Management Services. “The reason for this immense impact is because all major local and government decisions, actions and sometimes even laws, eventually get challenged, accepted, or rejected (we like to call that Tossed Out) in the Supreme Court.”
Exploring the government’s right to private property
In fact, it was only last year that the U.S. Supreme Court upended years of precedent and decided that property owners have the right to go directly to federal court to argue claims that state and local regulations impede their property rights. The case at hand, Knick v. Township of Scott, centered on a Rose Mary Knick, a woman in Pennsylvania who owned land that includes a small cemetery. Scott Township required all cemeteries to be open to the public during the daytime and Knick appealed to the state court saying that the rule effectively amounted to property seizure. Once the town removed the notice, the state court declined to rule on the