If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate, he will hear arguments on October 3, 2018, in a key property rights case now pending before the Court, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Knick v. Township of Scott, No. 17-647, which involves the ripeness requirements established in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank. Under Williamson County, property owners must exhaust state court remedies before bringing a taking claim in federal court, satisfying procedural hurdles for federal court review of property rights that are not imposed on other constitutional rights.
Knick involves a taking challenge to a city ordinance, enacted by the Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, which allows government officials to enter private property to determine whether a cemetery is located on the property, without the landowners’ permission. The ordinance also requires cemeteries located on private property to remain open to the public during daylight hours. Rose Mary Knick, a resident of the Township, challenged the ordinance in federal court arguing that the ordinance violates the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution because it takes private property without just compensation. The district court dismissed her case, however, holding that it wasn’t ripe for judicial review because she had not first filed for state court review of her taking claim before filing in federal court.