The Barron v Baltimore case was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court that had a significant impact on the way that state and federal power are balanced in the United States. The case involved the question of whether the Bill of Rights applied to the states, specifically, whether the Fifth Amendment’s requirement for just compensation when private property is taken for public use applied to state governments as well. The Supreme Court’s decision in Barron v Baltimore was significant in defining the relationship between states and the federal government and helped to establish the concept of federalism in American law.
In 1821, John Barron was the co-owner of a wharf in Baltimore, Maryland. He claimed that the wharf was damaged by actions taken by the state of Maryland, which caused sediment to accumulate in the harbor and make it difficult for ships to dock at the wharf. Barron sued the state of Maryland, arguing that the state had violated the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which required the government to provide just compensation when private property was taken for public use.
The case was eventually appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case to determine whether the Fifth Amendment applied to the states.
The Court’s Decision
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the Bill of Rights did not apply to state governments. The Court reasoned that the Bill of Rights, including the Fifth Amendment’s requirement for just compensation, only applied to the federal government and did not impose any restrictions on the actions of state governments.
The Court’s decision in Barron v Baltimore had significant implications for the relationship between states and the federal government. It established the idea that the Bill of Rights was not a limit on the powers of state governments and that the states had broad powers to regulate and govern their citizens.
Impact and Legacy
The Barron v Baltimore decision had a significant impact on American law and politics. It helped to establish the concept of federalism, which is the idea that power is divided between the federal government and the states. The decision also made clear that the Bill of Rights only applies to actions taken by the federal government, not the states.
The Court’s decision in Barron v Baltimore was criticized by some legal scholars and politicians, who argued that it left citizens vulnerable to abuses by state governments. In response to this criticism, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1868, which includes the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. These clauses have been used to incorporate many of the protections of the Bill of Rights into state law and to place limits on the actions of state governments.
The Barron v Baltimore case was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court that established the idea that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states. The Court’s decision helped to establish the concept of federalism and played a significant role in defining the relationship between the federal government and the states. While the decision was controversial and has been criticized by some legal scholars, it had a lasting impact on American law and politics and remains an important part of the country’s legal history.
The Background: Barron V. Baltimore
Mr. John Barron was a resident of Baltimore, Maryland. He sued his home city because his business, which was located in Baltimore harbor, was damaged. The city of Baltimore passed an adjustment of water flow law which ended up cutting-off water to Mr. Barron’s property.
Because of the law, Mr. Barron’s boats were not able to properly dock in the harbor. The lack of water and the inability to dock resulted in his boats getting damaged. Barron sued Baltimore and was ultimately rewarded money to compensate for his damaged boats. However, the city appealed the ruling and brought the case to the United States Supreme Court.
The case of Barron V. Baltimore deals with eminent domain. This means that the government can repossess property owned by citizens in the event that the property taken is necessary for public use. The problem was, “public use” was not defined when this case was tried—Barron v. Baltimore took place in 1833!
The Case: Barron V. Baltimore
Mr. John Barron in Barron v. Baltimore said that the government’s use of eminent domain was a direct violation of the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 5th amendment states that the government must respect, maintain and uphold the legal rights of all American citizens and that the government must retain a person’s liberties and human rights.
Mr. Barron thought that is was unfair and illegal for the government to mess with his personal property. He thought that he should be repaid for the damages caused to his boats. The city of Baltimore thought that they were in their rights to restrict water supply. They thought that they were allowed to do this because it ultimately helped out the community.
The Verdict: Barron V. Baltimore
The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Baltimore, stating that the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution was limited and only should be followed by the Federal government. The 5th Amendment does not state that it must be followed by all state and city governments in the United States. Because of the ruling in Barron V. Baltimore, the United States Supreme Court established that a individual citizen’s property was not susceptible to the regulation of the 5th Amendment.