International Conflict and Property Rights: Fifth Amendment 'Takings' Issues [Updated December 5, 2001]   [open pdf - 59KB]

"The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon has raised the possibility of responses by the United States that impinge on private property, and, in turn, the possibility of claims under the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause. In the past, the existence of war or other national emergency has prompted courts to extend an extra degree of deference to responsive government measures when analyzing regulatory takings claims. Thus, when the United States has temporarily closed mines, imposed rent controls, frozen assets of hostile foreign nations subject to U.S. jurisdiction, suspended judicial process initiated by U.S. nationals against such assets, or settled claims of U.S. nationals against foreign sovereigns and their assets, courts universally have rejected takings suits. On the other hand, takings claims based on physical takings or appropriations on the homefront have succeeded - wartime notwithstanding. The property of enemy aliens receives no Takings Clause protection, at least in the context of traditional wars."

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CRS Report for Congress, RS21040
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