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United States v. Causby

The Case At Hand

The respondent, Causby, owned 2.8 acres of farmland near an airport outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. During World War II, the U.S. government began using the airport for military purposes. Heavy bombers and fighter planes began to fly over Causby's property with increasing frequency at all hours. Often the fighters would fly so low as to blow the leaves off the tops of Causby's trees. This created a roar so deafening that Causby's chickens would panic, running into walls and killing themselves. About 150 of the fowl were killed in this manner, prompting Causby to give up his chicken farming business entirely. He brought suit against the government, claiming that his property had been rendered worthless for commercial purposes and thus had, in effect, been "taken" from him. A lower court ruled in Causby's favor and the United States appealed before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953United States v. Causby - Legal Background, The Case At Hand, High Court Affirms, Black Dissents, Airspace Rights