United States v. Willow River Power Company

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United States v. Willow River Power Company by Robert H. Jackson

United States v. Willow River Power Co., 324 U.S. 499 (1945) is a 1945 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court involving the question whether the United States was liable under the Fifth Amendment for a “taking” of private property for a public purpose when it built a dam on navigable waters that raised the water level upstream to lessen the head of water at a power company’s dam, thereby decreasing the production of power by the company’s hydroelectric turbines. The Court’s opinion is notable because it asks the question whether the courts will provide a remedy because a property right has been invaded or a property right exists because the courts will enforce it. This is a reformulation of the Euthyphro dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro. Excerpted from United States v. Willow River Power Co. on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

324 U.S. 499

United States  v.  Willow River Power Company

 Argued: Feb. 8, 9, 1945. --- Decided: March 26, 1945

Mr. Paul A. Freund, of Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Mr. R. M. Rieser, of Madison, Wis., for respondent.

Mr. Justice JACKSON delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).