Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Melanie Tang


Trade secrets have traditionally been considered to be property interests under the law protected by the Fifth Amendment. However, in a series of decisions finding a Massachusetts tobacco product disclosure law to be unconstitutional, the Massachusetts district court departed from established Fifth Amendment takings case law, setting a precedent for successful "regulatory takings" challenges by private companies to public health, welfare, and safety laws. This Note discusses the novel interpretation of a property owner's reasonable investment-backed expectations advanced by the Phillip Morris holdings in contravention to Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto, as x ell as the misguided analysis of the character of Massachusetts' actions in light of the "essential nexus" and "roughly proportional" standards promulgated in Nollan v. California Coastal Comm'n and Dolan v. City of Tigard.