R. S. Radford


Dennis Coyle’s new book, Property Rights and the Constitution, is an important addition to the ongoing debate over the constitutional status of private property. Coyle selectively reviews important land use cases decided by the United States Supreme Court and various states in the post-New Deal era. More importantly, Coyle provides an ideological framework that illuminates several key strands in the constitutional jurisprudence of property law. Coyle traces the ebb and flow of competing attitudes toward property rights and regulation in a way that makes sense of the sometimes chaotic body of case law in this field. In the process, he sets forth his own theories of the vital role of private property in creating and maintaining the American constitutional system.