Carolina Journal News Reports
RALEIGH — The newly formed North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law will sponsor a program Dec. 9 in Raleigh that analyzes recent court decisions on economic development.
The program will feature Northeastern University law professor Peter Enrich, who was the lead plaintiff’s lawyer in the potentially landmark Cuno v DaimlerChrysler case out of Ohio. On Sept. 2, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an investment tax credit that Ohio granted DamilerChrysler in exchange for the automaker agreeing to build a Jeep assembly plant in Toledo violated the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause.
Enrich will outline emerging trends with business-location incentives. He will discuss the role of the commerce clause in limiting state and local taxation, including the history of judicial applications of the dormant commerce clause and the courts’ modern approach. He also will discuss specific case applications of the commerce clause to location incentives—including discussion of Cuno v Daimler Chrysler.
Also at the program, lawyer Bert Gall of the Institute for Justice in Washington, D.C., will provide historical background from a national perspective on the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes. Gall will examine recent important judicial decisions striking down the condemnation of private land for use in economic development activities benefiting other private entities.
Cases that Gall will discuss include County of Wayne v. Hathcock, where the Michigan Supreme Court recently rejected the argument that “a private entity’s pursuit of profit was a ‘public use’ for constitutional takings purposes simply because one entity’s profit maximization contributed to the health of the general economy.” Gall will also discuss Kelo v. City of New London, a case filed by IJ that is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue to be decided is whether the U.S. Constitution allows the government to use eminent domain to take one person’s home or small business so a bigger business can make more money off that land and pay more taxes as a result.
Professor David Lawrence of the University of North Carolina School of Government’s Institute of Government will discuss the use of eminent domain for economic purposes as it has been and is currently used in North Carolina.
The final panel discussion will focus on the current legal status of constitutional regulation of economic development in North Carolina. The panel will focus on the “public purpose” clause as outlined in Article V. 2 of the North Carolina Constitution and the N.C. Supreme Court’s decision in Maready v Winston Salem interpreting the public purpose clause. The panel will include: Jack Holtzman of the N.C. Justice and Community Development Center; William Maready of The Maready Law Offices, who also was the plaintiff and lead counsel in Maready v Winston Salem; and Ernest Pearson of The Sanford Holshouser, LLP and the Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group.
“This event will provide an important opportunity to discuss the federal and state constitutionality of economic incentives,” said NCICL Executive Director Bob Orr, who is a retired N.C. Supreme Court justice. “The use of large incentive packages to lure large corporations to North Carolina has become a substantial issue to many officeholders, policymakers, and the public. Given the evolving nature of the law, this program is a must CLE for any attorney involved with local or state government economic incentives. However, this program is also open to individuals who are not attorneys,” Orr said.
An application and additional information on the continuing legal education program can be obtained at www.ncicl.org or by calling Sondra Beeson at 919-872-3980.