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Which amendment to the US Constitution protects the property rights of individuals?


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2009-10-28 18:49:53
2009-10-28 18:49:53

The Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution protect us against illegal search and seizure and against the taking of private property. You can read all about it at the link provided below.


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Eminent Domain Power

"The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says 'nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.' This is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power."

Eminent domain "appertains to every independent government. It requires no constitutional recognition; it is an attribute of sovereignty." In the early years of the nation the federal power of eminent domain lay dormant, and it was not until 1876 that its existence was recognized by the Supreme Court. In Kohl v. United States any doubts were laid to rest, as the Court affirmed that the power was as necessary to the existence of the National Government as it was to the existence of any State. The federal power of eminent domain is, of course, limited by the grants of power in the Constitution, so that property may only be taken for the effectuation of a granted power, but once this is conceded the ambit of national powers is so wide-ranging that vast numbers of objects may be effected. This prerogative of the National Government can neither be enlarged nor diminished by a State. Whenever lands in a State are needed for a public purpose, Congress may authorize that they be taken, either by proceedings in the courts of the State, with its consent, or by proceedings in the courts of the United States, with or without any consent or concurrent act of the State.

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