'No Taking Without a Touching?' Questions from an Armchair Originalist
17 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2008 Last revised: 10 Apr 2009
Date Written: 2008
This paper is an invited contribution to the Bernard Siegan Memorial Conference on Economic Liberties, Property Rights, and the Original Meaning of the Constitution at the University of San Diego School of Law. The paper poses three questions about the historical evidence used to support the dominant academic view that the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause, as originally understood, extended only to physical appropriations or invasions of private property. First, the paper questions the relevance of state and local regulatory practices to the pre-incorporation understanding of the Takings Clause. Second, the paper expresses concern about the use of state-court cases decided well into the nineteenth century to elucidate the meaning of a late-eighteenth-century legal provision. Finally, the paper asks whether the state decisions frequently cited for the no taking without a touching principle might have been answering different questions than the modern regulatory takings problem.
Keywords: property, takings, regulatory takings
JEL Classification: K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation