The Fuller Court (1888–1910)


In what case involving a railroad company did the Court extend the Fifth Amendment protection of just compensation to the states?

The Fuller Court ruled in Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company v. Chicago (1897) that the Fifth Amendment protection of just compensation was extended to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. This marked the first time that the U.S. Supreme Court ever extended a provision in the federal Bill of Rights to the states. The Court concluded: “Due process of law, as applied to judicial proceedings instituted for the taking of private property for public use, means, therefore, such process as recognizes the right of the owner to be compensated if his property be wrested from him and transferred to the public.” All the justices agreed that the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause included the Fifth Amendment right to just compensation when the government takes private property. Justice David Brewer’s opinion is labeled a dissent only because he did not believe, under the facts of the case, that the railroad company received just compensation.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App