5th Amendment- Annotated
The "takings question" is concerned with a legal meaning within the Constitution.
The takings clause had its origin in section 39 of Magna Carta which stated that no private property shall be taken without some kind of due process.
When the U.S. Constitution was adopted, our founding fathers feared that the federal government would be too powerful, which led to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment declared that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law: nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Originally, this applied only to the federal government and not to the states. The takings clause directs the government to pay just compensation to anyone whose private property is taken. The Supreme Court of the United States has recently reviewed the narrow takings clause, considering the increasing body of environmental law since 1970 in a series of decisions, the Court has found that compensation is essentially required in three situations: first, when the government physically takes property, second, when government regulations cause land to loose all its value. Third, when the government condemns the landowner to use the land in a specific way on the condition of receiving a permit.