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Originalism and Regulatory Takings: Why the Fifth Amendment May Not Protect Against Regulatory Takings, But the Fourteenth Amendment May


Michael B. Rappaport


University of San Diego School of Law

January 13, 2009

San Diego Law Review, Vol. 45, Summer 2008
San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 09-003

Abstract:     
This articles explores the widely disputed issue of whether Takings Clause protects against regulatory takings, offering a novel and intermediate solution. Critics of the regulatory takings doctrine have argued that the original meaning of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause does not cover regulatory takings. They have quickly moved from this claim to the conclusion that the incorporated Takings Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment also does not cover regulatory takings.

In this article, I accept the claim that the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause does not cover regulatory takings, but then explore the possibility that the incorporated Takings Clause does cover such takings. Applying Akhil Amar's theory of incorporation, I argue that there are strong reasons, based on history, structure, and purpose, to conclude that the Takings Clause had a different meaning under the Fourteenth Amendment. Amar argues that the Bill of Rights was dominated by republican ideas, but that the Fourteenth Amendment was founded on more liberal notions intended to protect individual rights. This would suggest that a broad reading of the Takings Clause would further the principles underlying the Fourteenth Amendment.

Moreover, that some state courts had come to apply takings principles to regulatory and other nonphysical takings in the period between the enactment of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment provides additional support for the possibility that the Fourteenth Amendment enactors would have understood it to apply to regulatory takings. While the paper does not attempt to prove that the Fourteenth Amendment Takings Clause applies to regulatory takings, leaving that task to others, it argues that critics of regulatory takings doctrine should no longer simply assume that the Constitution's original meaning does not apply to state regulatory takings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: federalism, fourteenth amendment, individual rights, property rights, takings, incorporation

JEL Classification: K00

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Date posted: January 14, 2009 ; Last revised: February 13, 2009

Suggested Citation

Rappaport, Michael B., Originalism and Regulatory Takings: Why the Fifth Amendment May Not Protect Against Regulatory Takings, But the Fourteenth Amendment May (January 13, 2009). San Diego Law Review, Vol. 45, Summer 2008; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 09-003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1327462

Contact Information

Michael B. Rappaport (Contact Author)
University of San Diego School of Law ( email )
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
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