MultumInParvo writes "CONNECTICUT'S AG ASKS THE SUPREME COURT FOR
TEN MINUTES OF NEW LONDON'S TIME IN KELO v. NEW LONDON.
In a MOTION OF AMICUS CURIAE OF CONNECTICUT FOR LEAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN ORAL
ARGUMENT AND FOR DIVIDED ARGUMENT Connecticut's Attorney General, Richard
Blumenthal, is asking the Court to give him 10 minutes of New London's
time and to split the issue before the Court.
The AG seems to feel he has
standing under 28 U.S.C. § 2403(b).
It appears that the AG has implied in his argument for the 10 minutes of New
London's time before the court that the Supremes have erred in their
procedure to let New London proceed directly with their suit. First the AG
states that the state's attorney general is given a unique role and opportunity
to appear and argue under 28 U.S.C. § 2403(b) "In any action, suit, or
proceeding in a court of the United States to which a State ... is not a party,
wherein the constitutionality of any statute of that State affecting the public
interest is drawn into question, the court shall certify such fact to the
attorney general of the State, and shall permit the State to intervene for...
argument on the question of constitutionality. The State shall... have all the
rights of a party....". Under
this argument the AG clearly makes the point that the Supremes needs to
have his leave to let New London present its case before them. This implication
came on page three of the brief.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
KELO, et al.
CITY OF NEW LONDON, et al.
On Writ of Certiorari To The Supreme Court of Connecticut
MOTION OF AMICUS CURIAE STATE OF CONNECTICUT FOR LEAVE
TO PARTICIPATE IN ORAL ARGUMENT AND FOR DIVIDED ARGUMENT
Pursuant to Rules 28.4,28.7, and 21 of this Court's Rules, amicus curiae State
Connecticut, through its Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, respectfully
moves that oral argument on behalf of the respondent, City of New London, be
divided and that amicus curiae be allowed 10 minutes of argument time. Amicus
curiae State of Connecticut will file a brief in support of the respondent
by the Court-established deadline and wishes to present argument on points that
are of particular importance to a sovereign state generally, and to the State of
The petitioners in this case pose a Fifth Amendment challenge to Chapter 132,
section 8-186, et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes,, arguing that the
power of condemnation is unconstitutional when undertaken to promote economic
revitalization. This constitutional challenge to the exercise of authority
contained in a Connecticut
municipal economic development." Objection, p. 1. The respondents
conclude, therefore, that there is no need for the State to argue and, due to
the factual complexity of the case, any time lost from "a full and clear
discussion of this factual background" will render a disservice to this
Court. Objection, p.2.
Respondents' Objection, however, elides over certain critical facts. The most
important is that a critical element of the petitioners' constitutional
challenge is to the State's statute, Chapter 132, section 8-186, et seq., of
the Connecticut General Statutes, not to the municipality's development plan.
This statute was not enacted specifically to assist this development project but
was adopted decades earlier as part of an overall effort to permit the State to
address critical economic development needs for all its citizens — dwelling in
non-urban areas as well as cities like New London.
The statute grants certain authority to State agencies and other powers to
municipalities. Municipalities, as creations of the State, can only act as authorized by
State law. Consequently, any attack on this statute implicates not only this
isolated development plan but, more importantly, a complex system of related
statutes using parallel language that involves state agencies and other parties,
not just towns and cities. Thus, not only does the State have a direct interest
in this case, it is an interest different from the respondents'. In short, while
the respondents may believe that then* brief adequately discusses the State's
position, it does not and cannot.
It is instructive to note that federal law anticipates situations like that
presented by this case. Specifically, when the constitutionality of a state law
affecting the public
interest is challenged, the state's attorney general is given a unique role
and opportunity to appear and argue:
28 U.S.C. § 2403(b).
In any action, suit, or proceeding in a court of the
United States to which a State ... is not a party, wherein the
constitutionality of any statute of that State affecting the public interest
is drawn into question, the court shall certify such fact to the attorney
general of the State, and shall permit the State to intervene for...
argument on the question of constitutionality. The State shall... have all
the rights of a party....
While respondents have expressed concern about the amount of time they will
have at argument to discuss the facts of the case below, we emphasize that this
case involves much more than just the facts that have been examined and
considered in the Connecticut Supreme Court's decision. The challenge to the
constitutionality of a broad array of state laws governing municipal and other
development projects is a direct challenge to Connecticut's, and other states',
ability to address pervasive economic problems and is, therefore, at its core, a
challenge to the sovereign powers of state government to meet the needs of the
people. No party, besides the State itself, can properly argue these interests
to this Court.
For all these reasons, amicus curiae State of Connecticut believes it
brings to the Court a perspective and position on the issues presented in this
case that is distinct from the respondents' and is consistent with the intent of
federal law cited above. Accordingly, amicus curiae respectfully believes
the Court would benefit from divided argument.