On April 13, I gave a virtual presentation on Tyler v. Hennepin County, as part of the Federalist Society’s “Seat at the Sitting” program, which also included presentations by several other legal commentators on issues before the Supreme Court this month. Tyler is an important Takings Clause case addressing the issue of home equity theft. I previously summarized its significance here:
[T]he Supreme Court [has] decided to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of a Minnesota state law empowering local governments to seize the entire value of a property in order to pay off a much smaller delinquent property tax debt. The property owner in the case—94-year-old widow Geraldine Tyler—argues that this kind of uncompensated seizure of home equity violates the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which requires government to pay “just compensation” anytime it takes private property, and the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment.
The case has important implications beyond Minnesota. Eleven other states have laws that allow similar “home equity theft.” In addition, the case might help resolve the longstanding debate over whether property rights under the Takings Clause are purely a product of state law, and therefore subject to elimination by state legislation.
Here is the video of the “Seat at the Sitting” program. My presentation runs from roughly 42:00 to 53:00. In addition, the case attracted many audience questions, which I addressed from about 1:04:30 to 1:12:40.
NOTE: Geraldine Tyler is represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, which is also my wife’s employer. She, however, is not involved in litigating the case.