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Barron v. Baltimore (1833)

The Fifth Amendment’s requirement that the government pay just compensation when it takes private property for public use did not apply to state governments.

Chief Justice John Marshall explained that, because the Bill of Rights only applied to the federal government, “[T]he provision in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution declaring that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation is intended solely as a limitation on the exercise of power by the Government of the United States, and is not applicable to the legislation of the States.” Therefore, the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction.

Decades later, the Fourteenth Amendment and the doctrine of incorporation would be used to apply some Bill of Rights limitations to states.

The case touched on constitutional principles including federalism.