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How are Property and Ownership Rights Limited

15. How are property ownership rights limited?

The US Constitution protects individual ownership rights in property. The concept of property allows the owner to exclude others from possessing or using that property. Nonetheless, laws may limit property by regulating when and how a person can use her property. In general, owners are prohibited from using their resources in ways that harm or injure others. The Federal Government limits the use of property through its power to regulate interstate commerce. State and local governments regulate the use of property pursuant to their police power to protect the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of its citizens.

•    Discussion: How do you feel about the ability of the federal, state, and local governments to infringe upon a property owner’s rights? Does it matter to you that the ability to infringe upon property rights is derivative power, where the constitutional protections of property rights are express? Why or why not?

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