The United States District Court’s Northern District of Alabama’s Court has ruled. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled. Now it’s time for the United States Supreme Court to rule as to whether the plaintiffs in the Lynch lawsuit have an issue worthy of their consideration.
On April 10, 2014, the plaintiffs submitted a 1,193 page Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States asking for the court to take up the Lynch case. The State of Alabama intends to submit a Brief in Opposition by August 12th. Plaintiffs will then have two weeks to respond in a Reply Brief.
The timing of this is important because the Supreme Court takes a summer recess. That recess will result in hundreds of cases lining up for the Court’s consideration when they return. The Court normally has a scheduling conference on the Friday preceding the first Monday of each month. This first meeting after the recess historically contains so much material that it is called the “Long Conference.” The result here is tha’t of all the scheduling conferences, this is the one where a case has the lowest chance of getting the Court’s attention.
This is good news for the good guys. This didn’t happen by accident.
Under the capable leadership of Attorney General Luther Strange and Solicitor General Andrew Brasher, they knew this would work in our favor and it’s just one more indicative reason why we are lucky to have an Attorney General (and a terrific staff) that’s on top of his game.
In addition to this administrative burden working against the plaintiffs is the fact that two lower courts ruled against them and that there is no competing rulings from other appellate divisions.
All this adds up to the conclusion that Luther Strange has done an admirable job positioning the State to best defend this lawsuit.
Now it’s up to the Supreme Court. We anticipate a ruling on the Cert Petition to be issued on Monday, October 6th. If the Court denies the petition, this case is finally over. Finished. Kaput.
When you get the opportunity, please express your appreciation to General Strange for his attention to this matter. Take a moment to reflect on what would be the outcome to timberland owners if the State’s Attorney General didn’t support our cause. Property taxes would go up by at least ten times, not to mention the loss of the Current Use treatment.
Elections do have consequences.
In the meantime, now is not the time to claim victory. We still have work to do as we will be assisting the State in its preparation of its Brief in Opposition. Translation: We still need financial resources to get to the finish line.