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CHAPTER 3

The Takings Clause

§3.1 INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, also referred to as the Just Compensation Clause, provides that the federal government may not take private property for public use without paying just compensation. The clause also applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. See §1.3. This chapter explores the question of when the government will be deemed to have taken a person's property. The separate issue of what constitutes just compensation is not usually part of the basic Constitutional Law course. Suffice it to say that just compensation is ordinarily measured in terms of the fair market value of the property that the owner has lost through the taking.

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