The Buckeye Institute: Fifth Amendment Means What It Says

Aug 19, 2022

Columbus, OH – On Wednesday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Ariyan, Inc. v. Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, urging the high court to protect private-property rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. 

“The Framers of the U.S. Constitution were clear when they drafted the Fifth Amendment, private property shall not be taken ‘without just compensation,’” said Jay R. Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute. “And ‘just compensation’ means payment when the taking occurs, not when the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board feels like paying.”  

This Pacific Legal Foundation case started in 2011 when work related to the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project caused extensive damage to numerous New Orleans businesses and homes. Despite promises to compensate the property owners for any damage and $10.5 million in judgments against the board, the Sewerage and Water Board has relied on a Louisiana state law that bars—in violation of the Fifth Amendment—the Bayou State from providing ‘just compensation’ when it takes private property.

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UPDATE: On October 17, 2022, cert was denied in Ariyan, Inc. v. Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans by the United States Supreme Court.