Constitution

April 22, 2014, 8am PDT
A California legislator warns that if the Keystone XL pipeline is rejected, expect tar sands to be transported by rail to Calif. refineries and ports. Increasing oil production would reduce oil imports, but a fracking moratorium bill has advanced.
Engineering News Record
May 13, 2009, 11am PDT
This piece from <em>Utne Reader</em> looks at Ecuador's recent extension of inalienable rights to nature and why other countries should follow this lead.
Utne Reader
Blog post
April 13, 2009, 11am PDT

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that government may not take private property without just compensation. The courts have held that this clause requires government to compensate landowners for losses caused by government regulation in certain situations- most notably when regulation leads to a permanent physical invasion of property (1) or makes property worthless (2).

Michael Lewyn
Blog post
July 4, 2008, 12pm PDT
Last week marked the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. New London. The first time I read Kelo, I thought what many Americans probably thought: that any government could seize property for any reason, so long as it compensated prior owners.

But after having taught Kelo to law students several times over the past few years, I now realize that Kelo is much more complex. Kelo was a 5-4 decision, and Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a separate concurrence. Because Justice Kennedy was the “swing vote”, his decision predicts future Court decisionmaking more accurately than the Court’s primary opinion, because a taking which fails to satisfy Kennedy might not be able to get five votes in the Supreme Court.
Michael Lewyn