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At times, governments may need to acquire private property to be used for governmental purposes. For example, when the government needs property to build a new school or a firehouse, or to construct a road or freeway, it may need to acquire the necessary property from private landowners. The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the government with this power. Private property can only be taken for public use. The Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the government to compensate the property owner when it takes private property.

This process is called eminent domain

Find a story in the news about a case where the government took property from an individual and discuss whether it was legal or not. Share your personal thoughts on this practice.

 

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