Historically, the government has taken or destroyed property without compensation if the property or owner poses a direct risk to the community--e.g., diseased livestock. But what about economic loss caused by pandemic-related lockdowns? Professor Keith Whittington argues that, although the government may not be legally required to provide compensation in such circumstances, the legislature often feels morally obligated to do so. 

Learn more about Professor Keith Whittington:
https://scholar.princeton.edu/kewhitt/home

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

 

Related Links:

Constitutional Implications of Government Regulations and Actions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
https://www.gibsondunn.com/constitutional-implications-of-government-regulations-and-actions-in-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/

COVID-19 and Property Rights: Do Government Actions in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic Create Compensable Takings?
https://fedsoc.org/events/covid-19-property-rights-do-government-actions-in-response-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic-create-compensable-takings

COVID-19 Response: Constitutional Protections for Private Property
https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/LSB/LSB10434

Differing Views:

The Kelo Case Provides a Strong Legal Argument for Takings Clause Lockdown Compensation
https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/commentary/kelo-case-provides-strong-legal-argument-takings-clause-lockdown-compensation

COVID-19: Public Law Right to Compensation When Deprived of Property
https://www.sidley.com/en/insights/newsupdates/2020/03/covid19-public-law-right-to-compensation-when-deprived-of-property

Eminent Domain, Police Power and Pandemics: When Does the Government Have to Pay?
https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1b2af537-44bb-438e-b769-7209edd26ea4