On the Waterfront
In a win for property-rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 yesterday that governments can be required to compensate property owners for interfering with their ability to develop their land. The court said that new owners can sue for compensation if their development plans are denied, even if long-standing rules forbid development. However, the decision wasn’t a hundred-percent victory for property owners because the court refused to award the Rhode Island property owner who brought the suit the $3.1 million he sought from the state. The justices said the owner hadn’t demonstrated that he had been deprived of all economic use of his waterfront property.