Hodel v. Indiana, No. 80-231

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMARSHALL
Citation101 S.Ct. 2376,452 U.S. 314,69 L.Ed.2d 40
Decision Date15 June 1981
Docket NumberNo. 80-231
PartiesDonald Paul HODEL, Acting Secretary of the Interior, et al., Appellants, v. State of INDIANA et al

452 U.S. 314
101 S.Ct. 2376
69 L.Ed.2d 40
Donald Paul HODEL, Acting Secretary of the Interior, et al., Appellants,

v.

State of INDIANA et al.

No. 80-231.
Argued Feb. 23, 1981.
Decided June 15, 1981.
Syllabus

This appeal involves a constitutional challenge to the so-called "prime farmland" provisions and certain general provisions of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (Act). The prime farmland provisions establish special requirements for surface coal mining operations conducted on land that both qualifies as prime farmland and has historically been used as cropland. These provisions include § 510(d)(1), which requires an applicant for a permit for mining on prime farmland to show that he has the capacity to restore the land, within a reasonable time after the completion of mining, to the productivity level of prime farmland in the surrounding area; § 519(c)(2), which conditions release of a mine operator's bond on the completion of such restoration; and § 508(a)(2), which directs mine operators to include information about the premining productivity of the land in the reclamation plans filed as part of permit applications. The general provisions in question include § 515(b)(3), which requires restoration of mined land to its approximate original contour; § 515(b)(5), which requires surface mine operators to remove topsoil separately and preserve it for use during reclamation; § 508, which requires applicants for surface mining permits to submit reclamation plans; §§ 522(a), (c), and (d), which require States wishing to regulate surface mining to establish an administrative procedure for determining whether particular lands are unsuitable for surface mining; § 522(e), which proscribes mining within a specified distance of roads, cemeteries, public buildings, schools, churches, public parks, or dwellings; and the Act's procedures for collecting civil penalties from violators of the Act, including a requirement that a contested penalty be paid into an escrow account pending review. Appellees (the State of Indiana and several of its officials, the Indiana Coal Association, several coal mine operators, and others) filed suits in Federal District Court, alleging that the provisions in question contravene the Commerce Clause, the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, and the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The District Court sustained each of the constitutional-

Page 315

challenges and permanently enjoined enforcement of the challenged provisions.

Held : The Act is not vulnerable to appellees' pre-enforcement constitutional challenge. Pp. 321-336.

(a) The provisions in question do not violate the Commerce Clause. The Act was adopted to ensure that production of coal for interstate commerce would not be at the expense of agriculture, the environment, or public health and safety, and to protect mine operators in States adhering to high performance and reclamation standards from disadvantageous competition with operators in States with less rigorous regulatory programs. The challenged provisions advance these legitimate goals, and Congress acted reasonably in adopting the regulatory scheme contained in the Act. Pp. 321-329.

(b) Nor do the challenged provisions contravene the Tenth Amendment. Such provisions regulate only the activities of surface mine operators who are private individuals and businesses, and do not directly regulate the States as States. Pp. 330.

(c) The prime farmland and approximate-original-contour provisions do not violate the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment. Congress acted rationally in making no allowances for variances from the prime farmland requirements and in allowing variances from the approximate original contour only for steep-slope and mountaintop operations. The fact that a particular State has more mining operations under prime farmland and fewer steep-slope or mountaintop operations than another State does not establish impermissible discrimination under the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Cause. And, by invalidating the prime farmland and approximate-original-contour provisions under the rubric of "substantive due process," the District Court essentially acted as a superlegislature and accordingly exceeded its proper role. Pp. 331-333.

(d) Sections 510(d)(1), 519(c)(2), 508(a)(2) and 522(a), (c), (d), and (e) do not take private property without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Appellees' taking claims do not focus on any particular properties to which the challenged provisions have been applied. Similarly, the District Court's ruling did not pertain to the taking of a particular piece of property or the denial of a mining permit for specific farmland operations proposed by appellees. The "mere enactment" of the Act did not effect an unconstitutional taking of private property. The prime farmland provisions do not prohibit surface mining but merely regulate the conditions under which such mining may be conducted. Pp. 333-335.

(e) Appellees' challenge to the civil penalty provisions of the Act as

Page 316

depriving mine operators of their right to due process is premature, where appellees have not shown that they were ever assessed civil penalties, much less that the statutory prepayment requirement was ever applied to them or caused them any injury. P.p.335-336.[[SC2Q!]] D.C.,

501 F.Supp. 452, reversed and remanded.

Peter Buscemi, Washington, D. C., for appellants.

G. Daniel Kelley, Jr., Indianapolis, Ind., for appellees.

Page 317

Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.

This appeal, like Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Assn., Inc., 452 U.S. 264, 101 S.Ct. 2352, 69 L.Ed.2d 1, also decided today, involves a broad constitutional challenge to numerous important provisions of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, 91 Stat. 445, 30 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq. (1976 ed., Supp. III) (Surface Mining Act or Act). Many of the specific provisions attacked in this case, however, differ from the "steep-slope" provisions that were the primary focus of the challenge in Virginia Surface Mining. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled that the provisions of the Act challenged here are unconstitutional and permanently enjoined their enforcement. 501 F.Supp. 452 (1980). We noted probable jurisdiction, sub nom. Andrus v. Indiana, 449 U.S. 816, 101 S.Ct. 67, 66 L.Ed.2d 19 (1980), and we now reverse.

I
A.

The basic structure of the Surface Mining Act is described in Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Assn., Inc., 452 U.S.,

Page 318

at 268-272, 101 S.Ct., at 2356-2358, and it will therefore suffice here to briefly describe the specific provisions drawn into question in this case. Several of the challenged sections of the Act are known collectively as the "prime farmland" provisions. These sections establish special requirements for surface mining operations conducted on land that both qualifies as prime farmland under a definition promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture and has historically been used as cropland within the meaning of the regulations of the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) implementing the Surface Mining Act. § 701(20), 30 U.S.C. § 1291(20) (1976 ed., Supp. III).1 A permit for surface coal mining on such lands may be granted only if the mine operator can demonstrate its "technological capability to restore such mined area, within a reasonable time, to equivalent or higher levels of yield as nonmined prime farmland in the surrounding area under equivalent levels of management . . . ." § 510(d)(1), 30 U.S.C. § 1260(d)(1) (1976 ed., Supp. III). The operator must also show

Page 319

that it can "meet the soil reconstruction standards" for prime farmland set forth in § 515(b)(7), 30 U.S.C. § 1265(b)(7) (1976 ed., Supp. III). That section specifies that the distinct soil layers on prime farmland must be separately removed, segregated, stockpiled, and then properly replaced and regraded. Furthermore, § 519(c)(2), 30 U.S.C. § 1269(c)(2) (1976 ed., Supp. III), provides that upon its completion of mining activities on prime farmland, a mine operator can have its performance bond released only on a showing that soil productivity "has returned to equivalent levels of yield as nonmined land of the same soil type in the surrounding area under equivalent management practices . . . ." 2

Also challenged here are some of the Act's more general provisions that are applicable throughout the country. These include § 515(b)(3), which requires restoration of mined land to its approximate original contour,3 and the directive in § 515(b)(5), 30 U.S.C. § 1265(b)(5) (1976 ed., Supp. III), that surface mine operators remove topsoil separately during mining activities and preserve it for use during reclamation if it is not to be replaced immediately on the backfill area of the mining cut. Section 508, 30 U.S.C. § 1258 (1976 ed., Supp. III), requires applicants for surface coal mining permits to submit proposed reclamation plans specifying the intended postmining use of the land and the method by which that use will be achieved. In addition, §§ 522(a), (c), (d), 30 U.S.C. §§ 1272(a), (c), (d) (1976 ed., Supp. III), require States wishing to assume permanent

Page 320

regulatory authority over surface coal mining to establish an administrative procedure for determining whether particular lands are unsuitable for some or all kinds of surface mining.4 Section 522(e), 30 U.S.C. § 1272(e) (1976 ed., Supp. III), proscribes mining activity within 100 feet of roadways and cemeteries or within 300 feet of public buildings, schools, churches, public parks, or occupied dwellings. Finally, the Act's procedures for collecting proposed civil penalties contained in § 518(c), 30 U.S.C. § 1268(c) (1976 ed., Supp. III), are...

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347 practice notes
  • Initial and permanent regulatory programs: Surface coal mining and reclamation operations— Valid existing rights (VER) definition and claims submission and processing procedures,
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 17, 1999
    • December 17, 1999
    ...Act is a land-use measure after the fashion of the zoning ordinances typically enacted by state and local governments. Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 331 n.18 We agree that the constitutional authority for SMCRA is the Commerce Clause. See Hodel v. VSMRA, 452 U.S. at 275-283 (1981), and Ho......
  • State v. United States Dep't of Health, Nos. 11–11021
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • August 12, 2011
    ...constitutionality of such comprehensive, economic regulatory schemes, Raich, 545 U.S. at 24–25, 125 S.Ct. 2195; see also Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 329 n. 17, 101 S.Ct. 2376, 69 L.Ed.2d 40 (1981) (“A complex regulatory program such as established by the [Surface Mining] Act can survive......
  • Johnson v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, No. 83-7059
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • June 18, 1984
    ...on fundamental rights must be upheld ... when the means are rationally related to a legitimate government purpose." Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 101 S.Ct. 2376, 69 L.Ed.2d 40 (1981); Schweiker v. Wilson, 450 U.S. 221, 101 S.Ct. 1074, 67 L.Ed.2d 186 (1981). We agree with this statement of......
  • Kamaole Pointe Development Lp v. County of Maui, No. CV. 07-00447 DAE-LEK.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • July 3, 2008
    ...against equal protection attack when the legislative means are rationally related to a legitimate government purpose. Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 331, 101 S.Ct. 2376, 69 L.Ed.2d 40 (1981) (citation omitted). "Moreover, such legislation carries with it a presumption of rationality that c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
342 cases
  • State v. United States Dep't of Health, Nos. 11–11021
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • August 12, 2011
    ...constitutionality of such comprehensive, economic regulatory schemes, Raich, 545 U.S. at 24–25, 125 S.Ct. 2195; see also Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 329 n. 17, 101 S.Ct. 2376, 69 L.Ed.2d 40 (1981) (“A complex regulatory program such as established by the [Surface Mining] Act can survive......
  • Johnson v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, No. 83-7059
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • June 18, 1984
    ...on fundamental rights must be upheld ... when the means are rationally related to a legitimate government purpose." Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 101 S.Ct. 2376, 69 L.Ed.2d 40 (1981); Schweiker v. Wilson, 450 U.S. 221, 101 S.Ct. 1074, 67 L.Ed.2d 186 (1981). We agree with this statement of......
  • Kamaole Pointe Development Lp v. County of Maui, No. CV. 07-00447 DAE-LEK.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • July 3, 2008
    ...against equal protection attack when the legislative means are rationally related to a legitimate government purpose. Hodel v. Indiana, 452 U.S. 314, 331, 101 S.Ct. 2376, 69 L.Ed.2d 40 (1981) (citation omitted). "Moreover, such legislation carries with it a presumption of rationality that c......
  • Amwest Surety Ins. Co. v. Wilson, No. B058329
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 8, 1993
    ...held that a rational basis existed for such legislation and it was therefore within the delegated commerce power. (Hodel v. Indiana (1981) 452 U.S. 314 [101 S.Ct. 2376] [69 L.Ed.2d 40].) "It is established beyond peradventure that 'legislative Acts adjusting the burdens and benefits of econ......
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