William and Mary Law School

Incorporation of the Right to Just Compensation: The Fourteenth Amendment vs. The Takings Clause 
Alan T. Ackerman

The Fourteenth Amendment, the most litigated and arguably important amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was drafted during Reconstruction by a select committee of six senators and nine representatives called the Committee of Fifteen. While the Committee’s secret meetings were not transcribed, a record of their proposals and their votes survived in a clerk’s journal. Before the Committee approved the final version of the Fourteenth Amendment as it stands today, Representative John Bingham of Ohio offered an addition, which mirrored the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause: [N]or shall any state deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, nor take private property for public use without just compensation.

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