Basic Hypos

8 March 2005

  1. Edmund Burke owns a "Keck home" in Glencoe, Illinois, on a street that has been designated as an historical preservation district by the Glencoe municipal authorities. That designation prevents Burke, and anyone he sells the property to, from tearing down the present house and putting up newer, larger construction, with the amenities most buyers expect in the high-priced residential real estate market that exists in the area. "Keck Homes" were ranch-style homes built in the 1950s based on a design by an architect named Keck. Keck homes have 1500-2000 square feet. The kind of new construction that sells best on the same sized lot has 2500-3500 square feet. What arguments can Burke and the municipality make with respect to the 5th Amendment Takings Clause?
  2. The Congress of the United States has enacted a statute compelling copyright holders to license their musical works to one or more file-sharing services through which they can get small royalties for downloaded music. What arguments can a musician and the United States Government make with respect to the 5th Amendment Takings Clause?
  3. Shelby Krebs owns beach front property in Destin, Florida. Ever since he bought it, he has had trouble preventing trespassing across his property to reach the public beach from the adjacent road. Five years ago, he reached an formal agreement that the Destin Police Department would post a patrol car beside the road, near his property, to prevent trespassing on his property. Under a new cost-cutting administration of the City of Destin, the police have been withdrawn. What arguments can Krebs and the City of Destin make with respect to the 5th Amendment Takings Clause?
  4. What similarities are there between hypotheticals #2 and #3?