The Takings Doctrine

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment governs two enormously controversial topics in both constitutional law and property theory: overt physical takings of private land for "public use," and regulations of private property, for a variety of public purposes ranging from species protection to historical preservation, that give rise to "regulatory takings." This course will examine federal takings doctrine from a variety of analytical frameworks, both normative and empirical: What issues did it attempt to address historically? Are those issues still pertinent today? What values or socioeconomic goods should takings law try to maximize? How should it do that? Students will be introduced to several major theories of property and state action, and will be asked to critically evaluate and apply them in the takings context. Towards the end of the course, comparisons will be drawn between American law and takings institutions in other societies, both European and Asian.

Course requirements are regular class participation and a final paper. Students will choose the paper topic in consultation with the instructor.

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