Washington Law Review


Joseph L. Sax


A case could be made for the proposition that property rights have been in a state of more-or-less continuous decline for many decades, and that there is nothing to report on that front but more of the same. I do not agree. I believe that we have moved in recent years from a situation (characterized by conventional urban zoning) in which we generally encourage developmental rights, though recognizing they must from time to time be restrained, to one in which developmental activity has itself become suspect. As a result, we are in the midst of a major transformation in which property rights are being fundamentally redefined to the disadvantage of property owners. The tenth item in the Washington Law Review Jurisprudential Lecture Series.

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