A Fair Rate Of Return Is Required When States Set Prices

Law360, New York (December 18, 2017, 10:15 AM EST) -- If the government sets prices for an industry but sets the rates so low that some businesses are unable to operate successfully, have the businesses been “taken” in violation of the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment? That’s the question that the U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to hear in the case of Mercury v. Jones, currently on petition to the Supreme Court. The court should grant Mercury’s petition in order to clarify the constitutionally required fair rate of return standard.

In general, businesses don’t have a constitutional right to earn a profit, but if the government steps in and...

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