Barron v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore 32 U.S. (7 Pct.) 243 (1833)
Barron owned a wharf. The
city of Baltimore started diverting water and Barron's wharf became to
shallow for boats to dock there.
There was no public hearing,
and Barron was never given the opportunity to voice his objections.
Barron sued, claiming that
this was a taking, and was not allowed under the 5th
Amendment, which prohibited the
taking of private property for public use without due process.
Baltimore argued that the 5th
Amendment (like the entire Bill
of Rights) was only applicable to
the Federal government, not the States or local governments.
The US Supreme Court found for
The US Supreme Court found
that the Bill of Rights only
applies to the Federal government.
The Court noted that the
States have their own constitutions, and if the citizens of Maryland didn't
like it, they were free to amend it to match what the Federal
Basically, under the original
interpretation of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights was only applicable to actions taken by the
Federal government. It had no applicability to actions taken by State or