Eminent domain refers to the power of the government to take private property for public use by the state. The power of eminent domain is recognized in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which declares that private property shall not “be taken for public use, without just compensation.” In requiring “just compensation” for a taking under the Fifth Amendment, the Constitution acknowledges that eminent domain is a power that can be exercised legitimately by government provided that the taking is for public use. Determining what constitutes “taking” and “public use” within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment, however, is extremely controversial. Frequently, takings under the Fifth Amendment run afoul of private property rights and place the security of property rights in jeopardy. Balancing ...

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