The Ninth Circuit Thinks The Raisins You Grow Aren’t Protected By the 5th Amendment

In recent years, the Ninth Circuit Court has provided the lion’s share of the cases that have come before the Supreme Court. A full ¼ of the cases (25.7%) come from the Ninth while the other 3/4ths come from a combined 10 other Courts. During the last four terms, the Supreme Court has vacated or sent back nearly 80% of the cases it has reviewed from the Ninth Circuit.

Far more cases come to the Court from the Ninth Circuit than any other court, and — not surprisingly — Ninth Circuit rulings make up a sizeable portion of the docket of argued and decided cases – 75 cases, or 25.7% for the last four Terms including the current session. During that period, the Court has reversed or vacated and sent back 79.5% of the Ninth Circuit decisions it has reviewed.

The Ninth Circuit seems to have particular ideas it wishes to push, making no difference as to what the law is. They reach a particular conclusion and then use a court case that comes before them as an example. In a consummate instance of their ineptitude, “in one per curiam opinion last month, the Supreme Court even rejected the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning in a single word: “No.”

Take the recent raisin case (Horne v. Department of Agriculture) as another example. The Ninth Circuit decided that the “Taking Clause” under the 5th Amendment applies less to personal property than real property — as if you can take someone’s gold to regulate the market but not their land. What’s more, under “just compensation”, if the government does take your property, it creates a scarcity which (could) raise prices, so a confiscation produces compensation for property in that manner. Does that mean if I steal one of your two cars, I can argue that the remaining car is potentially worth more now because there are less cars on the market? Of course not. But the Ninth Circuit seemed fit to argue so.

The only positive thing that could come out of this egregious display of legal impropriety by the Ninth is that it could hopefully clarify property rights. As the Wall Street Journal contends, “The Horne case is one of the most significant property rights cases in years—probably since the Court’s infamous 5-4 ruling in 2005 in Kelo v. New London…The majority Justices in Kelo have a lot to answer for. This is a chance to make partial amends.”

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