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In Property as the Keystone Right?, Professor Carol Rose examines the claim that the protection of property is an important-indeed, the most important-right conferred by our constitutional order. Although the equality of property rights with other constitutionally protected rights occasionally has been questioned, such instances are far outweighed by instances of rhetorical insistence upon the bedrock nature of individual property rights for our constitutional and democratic order. With the recent collapse of statist economies in other parts of the world, and the attempted transformation of those economies into market-driven, capitalist systems, the American idea of constitutional protection of individual property rights has been exported along with other ideas believed to be fundamental to the creation and maintenance of a liberal democratic order. As one prominent commentator recently wrote, "[t] he right kind of constitution could play an important role in fueling economic development and democratic reform; indeed, under current conditions, it may be indispensable to them." Central to that "right kind of constitution" is the protection of property rights, which "creates the kind of security that is indispensable to genuine citizenship in a democracy."

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J. Peter Byrne, What We Talk About When We Talk About Property Rights - A Response to Carol M. Rose’s ‘Property as the Keystone Right?’, 71 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1049 (1996)