Murr v. Wisconsin and the Inherent Limits of Regulatory Takings

45 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020 Last revised: 26 Feb 2021

Date Written: May 8, 2020


Almost one hundred years after announcing that regulations could go too far by confiscating economically viable use, the Supreme Court still faces significant questions about the regulatory takings doctrine. Long before the development of the doctrine, courts mixed narratives of substantive due process and physical takings to evaluate claims of confiscatory regulatory practices. The Court’s 2017 decision in Murr v. Wisconsin adds to the confusion, sending mixed messages and heightening interest in the scope of the doctrine. While powerful reasons support treating as compensable economic regulations that are functionally equivalent to a physical taking, important differences between physical and regulatory takings should be treated as limitations to the degree of equivalence possible and therefore to the scope of the doctrine. The inherent limitations of the regulatory takings doctrine need to be recognized if the doctrine is to remain a viable concept for protecting property rights under the Takings Clause.

Keywords: property rights, regulatory takings, land use, substantive due process, property theory

Suggested Citation

Butler, Lynda L., Murr v. Wisconsin and the Inherent Limits of Regulatory Takings (May 8, 2020). Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 99 (Forthcoming), William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-414 , Florida State University Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Lynda L. Butler (Contact Author)

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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