Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,600+ case briefs...

Keystone Bituminous Coal Ass'n v. DeBenedictus

United States Supreme Court
480 U.S. 470 (1987)


In 1966, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted the Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (Subsidence Act), which prohibited mining coal when doing so might cause subsidence of land. Land subsidence due to coal mining is a significant problem in Pennsylvania that causes widespread property damage. The Keystone Bituminous Coal Association (Keystone) (plaintiff) brought suit in federal court against the various state officials (defendants) in charge of determining what coal could not be mined and of enforcing the prohibition on mining. Keystone claimed that the Subsidence Act’s prohibition on mining coal constituted a taking requiring just compensation. Keystone also claimed that the regulations were a taking because they prevented the mining companies from exercising their rights to the support estates of their land (Pennsylvania recognizes three types of estates: surface estate, mineral estate, and support estate). At the time the suit was brought, the law had not been used to prevent any coal from being mined. The trial court ruled that there had not been a taking, and the circuit court affirmed. Keystone appealed to the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial