Before the Court
Friday, join Dr. John C. Eastman, Founding Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, for our next tele-town hall. During the Obama administration we watched the government’s willingness to enforce its preferences in the lives of citizens increase exponentially in almost every arena. Dr. Eastman and his guests will take up two cases arguing against that unconstitutional interference: Murr v. Wisconsin, a property rights case; and Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., a transgender bathroom case.
We are pleased to welcome John Groen, lead counsel for the Murr family in Murr v. Wisconsin to our town hall. Mr. Groen is General Counsel and a Senior Attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation. The Murrs are challenging a legal precedent instituted in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York in 1978, which made it nearly impossible for property owners to win compensation when state regulations take their property. In this case, the Murr family purchased lakefront property in Wisconsin, built a vacation home, and for over 60 years enjoyed the retreat, purchasing the adjacent lot to accommodate their growing family. Regulations enacted after the purchase prohibit building on the second parcel, although neighboring parcels of the same size are developed. The state court ruled that since the state allowed the Murrs to build on one of the two parcels, there was no Fifth Amendment taking. We filed a brief supporting the Murrs’ argument that regulations that interfere with property rights to this extent effect a taking requiring just compensation under the Constitution.
On March 6, the Supreme Court vacated and remanded our next case back to the 4th Circuit after President Trump rescinded the guidance that added protections for transgender students to Title IX. However, the case remains alive in the appeals court, so to discuss Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., Dr. Eastman will be joined by Stephanie N. Taub, Counsel with First Liberty Institute.
In June 2015 a transgender student in Virginia sued the school district for access to the men’s bathroom. The federal government intervened in support of the student. In July 2016 the 4th Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision to grant G.G. access to the intimate facilities of her choosing, and the School Board appealed to the Supreme Court, asking whether the federal statute’s reinterpretation by a low-level bureaucrat was entitled to Auer deference, and whether the Department’s interpretation of Title IX should be given effect. The Center filed a brief on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage in support of the School Board.
Dr. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law. He served as a law clerk with Justice Clarence Thomas in 1996-97. Dr. Eastman currently serves as the chairman for the National Organization for Marriage.