30 Aug 2010

Takings in the Central Valley

Central valley farmers (Wolfsen et al.) have sued the US government for taking their water and land for environmental restoration ("an inverse condemnation").

Here's the 27 page brief [pdf].

(The Fresno Bee has three paragraphs on the suit. Budget cuts in the editorial office?)

Under the Fifth Amendment, they are entitled to "fair" compensation if they win.

But what's fair? The value they claim, the amount they paid for water, or their property tax assessment?

And I wonder if they'd take the money in exchange for their land.