Article Title

Hunting for Quarks: Constitutional Takings, Property Rights, and Government Regulation

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law


As development creeps steadily outward from central cities to environmentally sensitive areas in the countryside, the conflict between property rights and government regulation will only accelerate. This Article explores the constitutional framework for the property rights-regulation conflict, with special attention paid to two recent United States Supreme Court opinions. As the Court continues its century-long struggle to define an acceptable balance between individual and societal rights, it is apparent, at least to the justices, that this constitutional riddle is not susceptible to bright-line solutions and glib answers. At the same time, it is also clear that the court's latest articulations of takings jurisprudence remain well within the modem constitutional framework initially set forth in Penn Central and subsequently elaborated by cases in the 1980s.