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Slavery as a Takings Clause Violation

Kaimipono David Wenger

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

TJSL Public Law Research Paper No. 05-02

This Article argues that slavery was a violation of the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution. Slaves, like all people, possessed a property right of self-ownership. When the government appropriated that property, through laws establishing slavery, the rightful owners of the property - the slaves - suffered uncompensated physical, regulatory and derivative takings. Victims of slavery, like victims of other impermissible takings, are constitutionally entitled to just compensation under the Takings Clause. This Article concludes by examining some potential judicial and legislative consequences of treating slavery as a Takings Clause violation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 70

Keywords: slavery, reparations, takings, takings clause, fifth amendment, self-ownership, alienability, givings, regulatory takings, derivative takings

JEL Classification: K10, K11

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Date posted: June 16, 2005 ; Last revised: March 26, 2009

Suggested Citation

Wenger, Kaimipono David, Slavery as a Takings Clause Violation. TJSL Public Law Research Paper No. 05-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=420540

Contact Information

Kaimipono David Wenger (Contact Author)
Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )
1155 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4347 (Phone)

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