Rights of Private Property

In the case of Munn v. State of Illinois, 94 U.S. 113 (1876), the Court stated:

"The power of the State over the property of the citizen under the constitutional guaranty is well defined. The State may take his property for public uses, upon just compensation being made therefor. It may take a portion of his property by way of taxation for the support of the government. It may control the use and possession of his property, so far as may be necessary for the protection of the rights of others, and to secure to them the equal use and enjoyment of their property. The doctrine that each one must so use his own as not to injure his neighbor-sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas-is the rule by which every member or society must possess and enjoy his property; and all legislation essential to secure this common and equal enjoyment is a legitimate exercise of State authority. Except in cases where property may be destroyed to arrest a conflagration or the ravages of pestilence, or be taken under the pressure of an immediate and overwhelming necessity to prevent a public calamity, the power of the State over the property of the citizen does not extend beyond such limits." [Emphasis mine.]

The Munn case further reviews the legitimate scope of government regulation of use under the "police powers":

"It is true that the legislation which secures to all protection in their rights, and the equal use and enjoyment of their property, embraces an almost infinite variety of subjects. Whatever affects the peace, good order, morals, and health of the community, comes within its scope; and every one must use and enjoy his property subject to the restrictions which such legislation imposes. What is termed the police power of the State, which, from the language often used respecting it, one would suppose to be an undefined and irresponsible element in government, can only interfere with the conduct of individuals in their intercourse with each other, and in the use of their property, so far as may be required to secure these objects...." [Emphasis mine.]

As expressed in the fundamental law, the essence of private ownership title to property is the right of exclusive decision and actualization of choice into use, enjoyment, and even economic "exploitation" or "waste" of the property to the extent that such use does not:

Injure another, his/her property or the relativity of the rights of another equal to one's own, constituting a common law "trespass";

Hurt or annoy another's real property or their ownership interest in that real property, constituting a common law private or public "nuisance;" or

Pose a categorical natural, common law, or statutorily defined evil.