Property Rights

June 16, 1995 • Volume 5, Issue 22
Do government regulations infringe on landowners' rights?
By Kenneth Jost


Property rights has emerged as a powerful rallying cry for business interests and others challenging government regulation. Property rights forces have battled in courts, state legislatures and Congress to win compensation for landowners when regulatory restrictions limit the use of their property. House-passed legislation would pay land-owners for losses resulting from regulations protecting endangered species and wetlands. Senate Republicans have introduced a broader bill to compensate property owners for losses resulting from any federal regulation. Environmental groups, land-use planners and the Clinton administration have criticized the bills as expensive wind-falls for special interests that go beyond the constitutional requirement that government pay “just compensation” when private property is “taken” for public use.

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