Duquesne Law Review


The fifth amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that private property shall not be taken for a public use, without just compensation. The author examines the history of eminent domain as it has been applied in the United States. From a concept which originally focused upon a just compensation, it has evolved into one under which any governmental taking will be upheld; provided that it serves a public use. The author concludes that by classifying eminent domain as sociological legislation, constitutional protections of property have been diluted by legislative bodies. Finally, the author suggests that an interest analysis approach, balancing governmental needs against private needs, would help to curb the almost unlimited use of eminent domain to promote legislative goals.

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