The Gov’t’s Taking of Private Property

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"The Government's Taking of Private Property"
The Constitution of the United States is based primarily on the ideas of the 17th Century English philosopher John Locke.Locke thought that everyone had natural rights, which included life, liberty, and property.Locke stated "the great and chief end, therefore, of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of property" (Locke/ McClaughry 3).He thought that if any of these rights were violated that the violator should make restitution.The Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states "Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."When the government needs a citizen's private property to build roads or buildings, they compensate the person with money roughly equal to the value of that person's land.
The problem of the government taking or restricting a citizen's land arises with regulation of private property. John McClaughry defines regulatory taking "as a governmental confiscation or destruction of economic rights by regulation, without the physical occupation which would trigger just compensation to the owner" (McClaughry 7).The case of Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council is an example of regulatory taking.
In the case of Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, Lucas bought two adjacent lots on the coast of the Isle of Palms in South Carolina, only to have the land restricted by the state, which prevented his intended use of the lots.Lucas argued that the state's restriction of the land constituted taking without just compensation.The South Carolina Court of Common Pleas agreed with Lucas and awarded him $1,232,387.50.The Supreme Court of South Carolina disagreed with the lower court, and saying that the restrictions were designed to prevent serious public harm so no compensation was …