Sunday, June 05, 2005


In Lingle v. Chevron, the U.S. Supreme Court cut a branch out of its takings jurisprudence. Twenty-five years ago in Agins v. City of Tiburon, the Supreme Court suggested that a regulatory law could effect a taking of private property if it did not "substantially advance legitimate state interests." This formulation led the lower courts into inquiries about whether particular laws made rational sense. Indeed, in Lingle, the district court conducted just such an inquiry and concluded that Hawaii's Act 257 limiting gasoline service station rents made no economic sense, and thus constituted a taking. Lingle, however, held that the focus in a takings case should be on whether a particular regulatory act impinges upon property rights to such a degree that it effects a taking, not on whether the law is good policy.

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