Lockdowns as Takings
36 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2020 Last revised: 28 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 21, 2021
Most official responses to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States included some sort of emergency economic suppression policy--the shutting down of non-essential business firms and economic activities--in order to promote “social distancing” and slow the spread of infection. My paper does not question the legal authority of these draconian orders but argues instead that these orders constitute takings of property. Specifically, orders that interfere with a person’s self-ownership rights in the name of protecting public health require the payment of just compensation.
Keywords: Epstein, Locke, Nozick, Property Rights, Left Libertarianism, Self-Ownership, Takings
JEL Classification: K11, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation