In Amicus Brief, The Buckeye Institute Supports Property Owners Whose Land Was ‘Taken’ by Federal Government

Dec 27, 2021

Columbus, OH – On Thursday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Ideker Farms v. The United States, supporting farmers along the Missouri River whose property has been lost due to federal government-caused flooding.

“In this case, the federal government is essentially arguing that what the government giveth, the government may taketh away,” said Jay R. Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute. “But that is not how the Fifth Amendment works and certainly not what the Framers intended. The federal government encouraged the plaintiffs to farm this land and now government-caused flooding is making farming impossible. This clearly meets the definition of a taking under the Fifth Amendment, and—as the lower court ruled—the landowners are due financial compensation for their loss.”

Throughout the mid-20th century, the federal government mitigated flooding along the Missouri, and other U.S. rivers, to make more land available for farming, which the plaintiffs purchased. Beginning in 2004, the federal government ceased its flood mitigation practices and began to encourage flooding making the plaintiffs’ land unusable. The plaintiffs sued the federal government for taking their land without compensation and the U.S. Federal Court of Claims ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor.

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