Chicago, Milwaukee And St. Paul Railroad v. Minnesota (1890) – Guest Essayist: Richard E. Wagner

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Chicago, Milwaukee and St, Paul Railroad v. Minnesota, 134 U.S. 418 (1890) became a landmark case in establishing a new direction for government regulation of business, though that new direction gave way to the coming of the New Deal. Prior to the Chicago, Milwaukee decision, courts had pretty much deferred to legislatures in deciding whether legislation passed constitutional muster. For the most part, courts would not inject themselves into controversies regarding the legislative regulation of business. This changed with the Chicago, Milwaukee decision.

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Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. (1926) – Guest Essayist: Richard E. Wagner

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In Euclid v. Ambler, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the Village of Euclid in Ohio, mostly farmland east of Cleveland, to impose zoning restrictions on property owners. Today, zoning is a near-universal practice. While zoning did not originate with the village of Euclid, the Euclid case was the first federal case, and it became a beacon of attraction for zoning upon reaching the Supreme Court. Since Euclid, municipalities in America have had nearly unlimited ability to restrict how landowners can use their property, provided only that they assert that they have a good public purpose in doing so.

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