The U.S. Supreme Court is commanding attention this week for its decisions in the final, and sometimes more contentious, cases of this Term. And while we too are following the Court this week, we’re also looking at a case the Court will hear in the fall. Murr v. Wisconsin, No. 15-214 (U.S.), is a fascinating takings case from the northwest corner of our state. Last week, we filed an amicus curiae brief in Murr, arguing on behalf of organizations representing every level of local government in Wisconsin that the case should not be decided on the merits of the constitutional question it presents. Instead, the brief argues, the Court should dispose of the case through one of three means: by dismissing the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted, by remanding the case to the Wisconsin state courts for further proceedings, or by certifying a question of Wisconsin state law to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The amicus brief we filed was written on behalf of the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Wisconsin Towns Association, and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. Taken together, these three voluntary membership organizations represent every level of local government in the state of Wisconsin. In representing the WCA, the WTA, and the League in the Murr case, we worked with co-counsel at von Briesen & Roper, S.C.
This post about the Murr case is broken into three parts, which can be read together or separately. The first part provides an overview of the facts and the proceedings that brought this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The second part discusses the arguments we presented in our amicus brief. And the third part summarizes the arguments the parties have presented to the Supreme Court in their merits briefs so far (the petitioners have not yet filed their reply brief) and that the federal government has offered. Readers who seek greater detail, either factual or legal, can find our brief, as well as the merits briefs of the parties and briefs by other amici here.