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Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal

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As street art continues to fuel a generation of counterculture and gains popularity in pop culture, laws enacted by local governments to curb this art form raise interesting constitutional issues surrounding the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. More and more cities across America are classifying street art and graffiti as public nuisances. Such municipalities impose their agenda on private property owners with street art ordinances. These laws allow the government to come onto private property to remove the street art; some laws go even further by requiring the property owner to remove the street art at his own cost. This Article attempts to make sense of the Takings Clause’s tumultuous doctrines and their underlying principles in order to analyze this anti-street art campaign. In the process, this Article analyzes whether street art ordinances constitute takings under the Fifth Amendment due to their potential negative economic impact on property values and the temporary deprivation of essential property rights.

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