America’s Founders understood clearly that private property is the foundation not only of prosperity but of freedom itself. Thus, through the common law, state law, and the Constitution they protected property rights-the rights of people to freely acquire, use, and dispose of property. With the growth of modern government, however, those rights have been seriously compromised.

More on Property Rights


Another Bleak Supreme Court Decision for Property Rights

By Roger Pilon. Washington Examiner. June 28, 2017.

The Labour Party’s Disregard for Property Rights Is Extraordinarily Worrying

By Ryan Bourne. UK Telegraph Today. June 23, 2017.

Immigration Restrictions Hurt Americans, Too

By Ilya Somin. Austin American Statesman. April 13, 2017.

Cato Studies

Curse or Blessing? How Institutions Determine Success in Resource-Rich Economies

By Peter Kaznacheev. Policy Analysis No. 808. January 11, 2017.

An Innovative Approach to Land Registration in the Developing World: Using Technology to Bypass the Bureaucracy

By Peter F. Schaefer and Clayton Schaefer. Policy Analysis No. 765. December 3, 2014.

Misallocation, Property Rights, and Access to Finance: Evidence from within and across Africa

By Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan and Bent E. Sørensen. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 7. August 6, 2014.


Magna Carta’s Importance for America

Cato's Letter. Roger Pilon. Vol. 13. No. 3. Summer 2015.

Ending Legalized Piracy: Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Roger Pilon and Trevor Burrus. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

Judicial Takings and Scalia’s Shifting Sands

Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus. Vermont Law Review. Vol. 35. No. 2. Winter 2010.

Public Filings

Brott v. United States

By Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Luke Wake. Legal Briefs. July 21, 2017.

St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District v. Violet Dock Port, Inc.

By Thomas M. Flanagan, Andy Dupre, Luke Wake, & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. June 30, 2017.

Piszel v. United States

By David G. Cabrales, W. Scott Hastings, Andrew Buttaro, Ilya Shapiro, & Kimberly S. Hernan. Legal Briefs. June 8, 2017.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Roam if You Want to?

Jonathan Klick and Gideon Parchomovsky. Regulation. Spring 2017.

16. Property Rights and the Constitution

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

12. Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).


Rethinking Regulatory Takings: A Preview of Murr v. Wisconsin on the Eve of Oral Argument

Featuring Todd Gaziano, Roger Pilon, Ilya Somin, & Ilya Shapiro. March 17, 2017. Policy Forum.

Do Landowners Have a Right to Challenge Federal Regulation of Their Property? A Preview of Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes on the Eve of Oral Argument

Featuring Ilya Shapiro. March 14, 2016. Policy Forum.

Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st-Century America

Featuring Timothy Sandefur, Christina Sandefur, Roger Pilon, & Trevor Burrus. February 9, 2016. Book Forum.