Requiem for Regulation

7 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2014

See all articles by Garrett Power

Garrett Power

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Date Written: November 2014


This comment reviews U.S. Supreme Court decisions over the past 100 years which have considered the constitutional limitations on governmental powers. It finds that at the three-quarter mark of the 20th century, a remarkable set of Court precedents had swollen the regulatory powers of governments while shrinking private rights to property and contract. But since the Reagan years, a more conservative Court has undertaken to curtail governmental activity in general, and to limit federal, state, and local planning in particular. A number of 5-4 decisions expanded private property rights and contracted the scope of the federal “commerce power.” The comment considers whether today’s Roberts Court is composing a “requiem for regulation.”

Keywords: constitutional law, environmental law, land use, real property, property rights, commerce power, federalism, eminent domain, just compensation, regulatory takings

Suggested Citation

Power, Garrett, Requiem for Regulation (November 2014). Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 44, p. 10923, 2014, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-42, Available at SSRN:

Garrett Power (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States

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