Eleanor Marie Lawrence Brown*
Most modern constitutions have eminent domain provisions that mandate just compensation for forced deprivations of land and require such deprivations to be for a public use or public purpose. The Takings Clause is a classic example of such a provision. The takings literature is essentially focused on outlining the outer boundaries within which the state can take property from an owner. But there are other takings that have been deemed “extraordinary”; in such circumstances, the state takes away property without just compensation and simultaneously makes a point about a person or a group’s standing in the community of citizens.
* Associate Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School. The
author is a former Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation and previously served as
the Chair of the Jamaica Trade Board.