Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173 (2013)
Authored two U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs. The first brief, submitted on behalf of the Cato Institute and the National Association of Reversionary Property Owners, successfully urged the Supreme Court to grant the Brandt family’s petition for certiorari, even though the decision being appealed was unpublished. Once certiorari was granted, Thor authored a second brief on the merits of the case, representing an impressive coalition of property rights organizations and scholars, including the Cato Institute, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Land Title Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Public Lands Council, and distinguished property law professors James W. Ely, Richard A. Epstein, Donald Kochan, and Dale A. Whitman. On March 10, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the landowner in this pivotal Fifth Amendment property rights case, setting a major precedent that will allow thousands of people to maintain ownership of millions of acres of land across the country. By an 8-1 vote, the Court preserved the certainty and predictability in land titles and upheld one of the fundamental policies of the country’s property law system.