In earlier cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has required governments to pay for imposing conditions on development. The Pacific Legal Foundation, a property rights public interest law firm, is representing property owner Coy Koontz Jr.
In a case from Virginia, the court will consider overruling a 10-year-old decision affirming judges' discretion to lengthen a prison sentence beyond the mandatory minimum term set by law. At the time of the 2002 decision, several justices said it was at odds with the logic of a line of cases in which the court limited judges' ability to raise sentences above a maximum term, unless juries specifically identified the facts to justify the longer sentence.
The court also will use a Virginia case to decide whether states can keep out-of-staters from using their Freedom of Information Act laws to get government documents. Federal appeals courts are divided on the issue.