State Supreme Court assesses compensation for trade restrictions

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SANTA FE – The New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday on whether the state should compensate businesses for losses due to temporary shutdowns and other restrictions related to the pandemic.

An attorney for the governor and state health officials have urged judges to step in and enforce public health orders related to the state’s pandemic following a string of lawsuits by companies that equate restrictions on “regulatory taking” and require financial compensation.

Lawyer Nicholas Sydow, representing state health officials, told the court that the temporary public health restrictions are justified based on the increasingly deadly trajectory of the pandemic and the provisions of the powers of the police of the Constitution and the statutes of the State. He said there were limits to private property rights when it came to serious public health and safety issues.

“When the state regulates public health and safety, it does not take away existing property rights, it exercises inherent authority …

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