When Government Takes You Hostage

Do property rights count for nothing anymore? This question lies at the heart of my column this week for Hoover’s Defining Ideas

This month, the Supreme Court will hear a case, coming out of Florida, addressing the longstanding conflict between the constitutional protection of property rights and the state’s desire to preserve its pristine wetlands from destruction by real estate development. The current law on this thorny topic, in Florida as elsewhere, gives the state the final authority to decide whether these wetlands should be developed. The state can let the development proceed as planned when its effects on the wetlands are minimal. But whenever the effects are more substantial, the state can refuse to permit the development of the land unless the landowner agrees to “mitigate” any resultant harm to the environment. I explain further over at Defining Ideas

  1. Eric Jablow

    The link to the article at Defining Ideas is malformed. The HTML reads:

    <a href=”/%20http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/137266” target=”_blank”>

    The bold text should be removed.

  2. Pony Convertible

    In a case involving wetlands in Rhode Island the Supreme Court ruled that the State could prevent development of wetlands in the interest of the people, but the people must then bare the burden, not the land owner.  The landowner was awarded $millions, because he was not allow to develop.

  3. Mark Lewis

    Brilliant, as always. Thanks for walking me through the issue, step by step. It’s funny how clear it becomes when you understand the issues at stake.