Truly a Federal Taking

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A reader sent me this comment on my piece about CNOOC and Unocal:

I share many of your views….and would probably expand on another. In my opinion, if gov’t interferes in the deal, its actions represent taking under the 5th amendment. Just compensation to Unocal investors is currently the market price indicated by CNOOC’s bid. Gov’t should be forced to bear the cost of its interference in the free market or get out altogether. Isn’t it hypocritical for a country that supposedly advocates free trade discourages it by stepping in on deals such as this?

I’d never thought of preventing a sale as a “taking” in this sense, but he makes an interesting point. Could it be considered that way? And where are our great libertarian centralists and their “concern” for property rights on this one?

5:06 pm on July 15, 2005