Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



This article reviews Regulatory Takings: law, Economics and Politics by William A. Fischel (1997).

William Fischel's Regulatory Takings confronts one of the most difficult and significant questions in constitutional law: how should courts determine which government regulations run afoul of the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment, which requires the government to provide compensation when it takes private property? Broadly read, the clause would bar government regulations with redistributive consequences, thus rendering the modern regulatory state unconstitutional. This reading, championed by Professor Richard Epstein, has achieved great prominence in academic and political debates, but the vast preponderance of judges and academic commentators finds such a result both unattractive and unsound in terms of constitutional structure. None of the numerous alternative substantive readings of the clause that have been advanced, however, has won general acceptance (or anything close).

Publication Citation

552 Annals Am. Acad. Pol. & Soc. Sci. 172-173 (1997) (reviewing William A. Fischel, Regulatory Takings: law, Economics and Politics (1997))