Talk:Edmondson v. Pearce (2004)
Welcome to the Discussion page for the case Edmondson v. Pearce (2004).
Potential flaws in the court's reasoning
- (1) Although the court acknowledges that a regulation may amount to a taking of private property when it "goes to far" in destroying the value of the property, it then declines to apply that standard so as to require compensation in this case. The Court acknowledges that the only competent testimony on the diminution in value indicates that (1) the gamecocks have value for only one purpose: fighting each other; (2) they are not fit for consumption; and (3) they would have to be destroyed in order to avoid criminal prosecution under the act. The trial court agreed with this testimony, and actually enjoined the Act from becoming law on that basis. Further, testimony indicated that nearly the entire value of the average gamecock operation, which ranged in value from $75,000 to $100,000, would be destroyed. In aggregate, these factors indicate that, in this case, it could have been appropriate to deem the prohibition on cockfighting a taking, and require that compensation be paid to the owners of the gamecocks and gamecock operations.
- (2) The Court appears to stray, both logically and legally, when it announces that gamefowl should not be considered property because 40 years earlier the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals speculated as to whether cockfighting may, some day, be prohibited. The logical extension of this reasoning would be that if a court today speculated on the topic of whether home ownership may be illegitimate in 40 years, a court 40 years from today would be justified in abstaining from recognizing one's home as property requiring compensation when taken, because homeowners were "on notice." It may be the case that, in an idea-driven society, many propositions can be made regarding the putative prohibition of certain types of properties and activities. The Court's reasoning implies that the mere bantering about of such ideas is sufficient to disgorge property rights. The unpopularity of cockfighting may have contributed to such reasoning, but the popularity of a particular right or ownership interest should probably not determine whether such an interest legally exists.