The New Supreme Court Standard on Regulatory Takings: A Threat to Wetland Protection?
The Supreme Court took an important step toward greater protection of private property rights in its June, 1992 opinion in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council. Mere recitation by the government of an intention to protect the public from harm can no longer justify or excuse a regulation that renders one's real property "valueless". The new "categorical rule" has two exceptions. First, such results are allowable if the limitations complained of are inherent in the title as derived from a state's law of property and, second, if the restrictions are aimed at activities that constitute public or private nuisances.