The Ninth Circuit has upheld the Arbitrator Appointment System of the Maricopa County Superior Court against a challenge to the system as an unconstitutional taking, That system requires experienced attorney serve as an arbitrator for up to two days a year with minimal compensation. Following a decision by the Arizona Supreme Court that the Appointment System was permissible under Arizona law, the district court reaffirmed its grant of defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Ninth Circuit then affirmed, holding that constitutional challenge to the Appointment System is properly considered under the regulatory takings test set forth in Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104 (1978). Under that test, the Ninth Circuit held, the impact of the Appointment System on the plaintiff did not amount to a taking for which he was entitled to compensation under the Fifth Amendment.
Circuit Judge Callahan authored the opinion and was joined by Circuit Judge Thomas and the Honorable Jane R. Roth, Senior United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, sitting by designation.