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The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari this term on two issues concerning the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. The justices heard oral arguments January 15 on a case focused on the conditions that a land-use agency may attach when issuing a development permit. The other, decided December 4, 2012, addressed whether recurrent, temporary flooding induced by the government’s negligence implicated the Takings Clause.

Essential Nexus and Rough Proportionality?

At its most basic level, the Takings Clause proscribes the seizure of private property for public use without just compensation. The Supreme Court, however, has broadened the reach of the Takings Clause beyond literal seizures. The doctrine of "regulatory takings," for example, bars regulatory actions that constructively deprive a property owner of use of her property. Furthermore, "exaction takings" may exist where excessive conditions for development are imposed on landowners in an attempt to offset the forecasted negative impact of the development.

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