The State of New York (defendant) passed an environmental-protection law that generally prohibited building in a certain portion of the state. The law created a commission to review applications for exceptions. If an applicant could demonstrate hardship, the commission could grant a building permit. The law provided for judicial review of an adverse commission decision. If the commission did find a taking without just compensation, it could vacate the taking, or, if the land otherwise met the requirements of the law, it could use eminent domain to acquire the land. W.J.F. Realty Corporation (plaintiff) sued the state, challenging the law as unconstitutional.