Friday, September 7, 2012

The Takings Clause and the Propery of Homeless Persons

Over at the Volokh, Ilya Somin has a post on Lavan v. City of Los Angeles, a case about the practice of seizing the unattended property of homeless persons:

In this case, the government not only seized the property, but also destroyed it after seizure. Cases going back to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries hold that government destruction of private property qualifies as a taking requiring just compensation. For example, the government must compensate property owners whose property is destroyed by flooding caused by a government-constructed dam. This is consistent with text and original meaning as well as precedent. An officially authorized seizure of property by government agents without any intention of ever returning it surely qualifies as a taking. And if the property is subsequently destroyed at the order of the state, it surely qualifies as a “public use.”

Steve Clowney

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