9-0 Supreme Court ruling says state needs to pay for taking private land

 April 16, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The U.S. Supreme Court has unveiled a 9-0 ruling setting out a definitive path for people whose property is impacted by government actions, even well-intentioned actions, to claim compensation.

The decision came in DeVillier et al. v Texas where the state of Texas decided to designate a highway, Interstate 10 between Houston and Beaumont, as a flood evacuation route, and so built a high concrete barrier in the median to contain floodwaters.

The problem developed when the barrier worked, and held floodwaters on lands belonging to Richard DeVillier and more than 120 others, damaging that property.

The state rejected any compensation claims, and that led eventually to the Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas.

The opinion said, "The dispute here arose after the state of Texas took action to use portions of I–10 as a flood evacuation route, installing a roughly 3-foot-tall barrier along the highway median to act as a dam. When subsequent hurricanes and storms brought heavy rainfall, the median barrier performed as intended, keeping the south side of the highway open.

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