In Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, the Supreme Court will decide whether a California “Access Regulation” violates the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Access Regulation allows union organizers to enter the private property of agricultural employers in the state for three hours per day, 120 days per year, for the purposes of soliciting employees to join the union.
Petitioners Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company, Inc., are California agricultural employers subject to the Access Regulation. In 2015, union organizers came onto the property of Cedar Point Nursery, a strawberry plant harvester near the Oregon border. The same year, union organizers filed an unfair labor practices charge against Fowler Packing, a citrus and table grape grower, alleging that Fowler denied access to union organizers seeking to enter their property. Petitioners contend that the Access Regulation constitutes a per se taking by appropriating an easement for the benefit of third party union organizers. Petitioners add that, because there is no mechanism for providing just compensation to Petitioners, the Access Regulation violates the Takings Clause.
Respondents are members of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. They argue that per se taking analysis is inappropriate because of time, place, and manner limitations contained in the Access Regulation. They urge the Court to analyze the Access Regulation under the multi-factor balancing test invoked in cases involving regulatory takings.
In 1979, a divided California Supreme Court rejected a takings claim brought by other California growers shortly after the Access Regulation went into effect. Petitioners in this case brought this case in federal court. A divided Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision rejecting Petitioners’ Fifth Amendment claim, and Petitioners’ petition for rehearing en banc was denied over the dissent of eight judges. The Supreme Court accepted the case in November 2020, and heard oral arguments on March 22, 2021.
Wen Fa, Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
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