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Somin Co-Authors Amicus Brief in Property Rights Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court

Professor Ilya Somin recently co-authored a brief on behalf of Nevada and eight other states in Murr v. Wisconsin, a property rights case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Ilya Somin
Professor Ilya Somin

The case addresses the issue of whether, in a regulatory taking, the “parcel as a whole” concept as described in  Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, establishes a rule that two legally distinct but commonly owned contiguous parcels must be combined for takings analysis purposes.

Excerpt from the brief:

The text of the Takings Clause is simple. It forbids the “taking” of “private property” without “just compensation….” Nothing in the text indicates that the requirement of just compensation might be waived if the owner of the property at issue also happens to own other property nearby. What matters is whether property has been “taken,” not whether the owner still has the use of the lot next door. Any other approach makes a hash of the text, and diverts the regulatory takings analysis from the actual effect of the regulatory action on the actual piece of property at issue, to focusing on the identity of the landowner and other property he or she may happen to own.

Read an analysis by Professor Somin: The Volokh Conspiracy, Washington Post, April 19, 2016.