Andrus v. Allard

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In Andrus v. Allard, 444 U.S. 51 (1979), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a regulation against a claim that it constitute a "taking" requiring "just compensation" under the Fifth Amendment.

The Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act were conservation statutes designed to prevent the destruction of certain species of birds. Challenged in this case was the validity of regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior that prohibit commercial transactions in parts of birds legally killed before the birds came under the protection of the statutes. The Court upheld the regulations.

Justice William Brennan wrote the opinion for the unanimous Court, with Chief Justice Warren Burger concurring in the verdict only. Justice Brennan wrote:[1]

Regulations that bar trade in certain goods have been upheld against claims of unconstitutional taking. For example, the Court has sustained regulations prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages despite the fact that individuals were left with previously acquired stocks. Everard's Breweries v. Day, 265 U.S. 545 (1924), involved a federal statute that forbade the sale of liquors manufactured before passage of the statute. The claim of a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment was tersely rejected. Id., at 563. Similarly, in Jacob Ruppert, Inc. v. Caffey, 251 U.S. 264 (1920), a federal law that extended a domestic sales ban from intoxicating to nonintoxicating alcoholic beverages "on hand at the time of the passage of the act," id., at 302, was upheld. Mr. Justice Brandeis dismissed the takings challenge, stating that "there was no appropriation of private property, but merely a lessening of value due to a permissible restriction imposed upon its use." 24 Id., at 303. See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887).


  1. footnote omitted