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land use, real property, environmental law, constitutional law, property rights, public domain, natural resources, public trust, navigability, eminent domain, just compensation, regulatory takings, exactions, public forum


This electronic book is published in a searchable PDF format as a part of the E-scholarship Repository of the University of Maryland School of Law. It is an “open content” casebook intended for classroom use in courses in Land Use Control, Environmental Law and Constitutional Law. It consists of cases carefully selected from the two hundred years of American constitutional history which address the clash between public sovereignty and private property. It considers both the personal right to liberty and the personal right in property. The text consists of non-copyrighted material and readers are free to use it or re-mix it in whole or part. No rights are reserved.

The readings provide an historical context, and an up-to-date focus on many of the constitutional issues facing today’s Supreme Court: imperium versus dominium; the public trust, inverse condemnation, the navigation servitude, the “regulatory taking” issue; the “navigability” boundary on federal power; the “public use” limitation on eminent domain; the balance between property rights and First Amendment liberties; the “essential nexus” between government prohibition and purpose, and; the fine line between taxation and expropriation.

The court cases in this work have been grouped into unique individualized "sessions." Most sessions consist of four or five tightly-edited cases, and the related statutes, if any. The materials are intended to be economically, politically and legally evocative and to provide an assignment appropriate for a class hour of discussion.


Constitutional Law | Environmental Law | Land Use Law | Natural Resources Law | Water Law