Why Prop. 99 Has Hurt Property Rights


by Timothy Sandefur

There is a must-read post at The Volokh Conspiracy this morning explaining why Proposition 99 is very bad news for property rights:

By defining the scope of protection for property owners as precisely as it does, Proposition 99 forecloses the possibility of such a judicial development in California. The state Supreme Court is unlikely to apply the generic term "public use" in a way that bans takings that would be permissible under the much more specific and detailed language of Proposition 99. In effect, Prop 99 incorporates into the California Constitution an extremely broad definition of "public use" that allows state and local officials to condemn almost any property they want.

Of course, that is just what people did not intend to do, when they voted for that proposition. Read the whole post.