There had been some rumblings in the blogosphere over whether Justice Stevens would participate in Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection because he owns property on a Florida Beach.
Well, according to SCOTUSBlog, Justice Stevens was not there during arguments today:
Even though only an eight-Justice Court will be deciding this case, because Justice John Paul Stevens — a Florida property owner — took himself out of the case, it still would take five votes to overturn the state Supreme Court ruling at issue.
PropertyProf Blog writes:
Justice Stevens was not on the bench. Informed comment around the Court seemed to be that he has recused himself because he owns Florida beachfront property. This is a potentially big deal because (a) Justice Stevens has been the most vocal advocate of the government position in the Supreme Court’s recent regulatory takings jurisprudence and (b) because it increases the chances of a 4-4 decision.
Self-Imposed recusal. At least Justice Stevens did not go duck hunting with Dick Cheney on his beach front property 🙂