Barron v. City of Baltimore 7 Peters 243 (1833)

Author:Leonard W. Levy

Page 163

When JAMES MADISON proposed to the First Congress the amendments that became the BILL OF RIGHTS, he included a provision that no state shall violate FREEDOM OF RELIGION, FREEDOM OF PRESS, or TRIAL BY JURY in criminal cases; the proposal to restrict the states was defeated. The amendments constituting a Bill of Rights were understood to be a bill of restraints upon the United States only. In Barron, Chief Justice JOHN MARSHALL for a unanimous Supreme Court ruled in conformance with the clear history of the matter. Barron invoked against Baltimore the clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibiting the taking of private property without JUST COMPENSATION. The "fifth amendment," the Court held, "must be understood as restraining the power of the general...

To continue reading