ABSTRACT

COVID-19 Response: Constitutional Protections for Private Property [March 27, 2020]   [open pdf - 640KB]

From the Document: "The federal government lacks 'a general federal authority akin to the police power.' But acting under its enumerated authorities, including under the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause (as supplemented by the Necessary and Proper Clause), Congress has ample power to enact legislation to deter the spread of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease], and indeed several laws enacted long before COVID-19's outbreak afford the President and executive agencies significant discretion to take measures to curtail the outbreak. [...] Many of these measures may impair a person's use of their property, directly or indirectly. [...] The Supreme Court has recognized that 'Congress routinely creates burdens for some that directly benefit others,' and that 'a State in the exercise of its police power may adopt reasonable restrictions on private property.' In limited circumstances, though, the Constitution requires federal or state governments to provide a property owner 'just compensation' where government action leads to a 'taking' of 'private property.' (State constitutions include similar requirements.) This Sidebar summarizes federal takings law and analyzes how it may apply to property restrictions in a national public health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10434
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2020-03-27
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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