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No modern United States Supreme Court Justice has stimulated more thought and debate about the constitutional meaning of property than Antonin Scalia. This essay evaluates his efforts to change the prevailing interpretation of the Takings Clause. Scalia sought to ground it in clear rules embodying a reactionary defense of private owners’ prerogatives against environmental and land use regulation. Ultimately, Scalia aimed to authorize federal judicial oversight of state property law developments, whether through legislative or judicial innovation. In hindsight, he stands in a long tradition of conservative judges using property law as a constitutional baseline by which to restrain regulation.

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41 Vt. L. Rev. 733 (2017)