||Government both protects and limits "property rights." One such limitation is found in the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment: "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." This thesis examines the Court's interpretation of three phrases in this Clause: "taken," "public use," and "just compensation." Government actions affect both the allocation of resources and redistributive justice (fairness). The conclusion of this thesis is that decisions of the Supreme Court, while not always achieving efficiency, seem to come closer to meeting that goal than the goal of equity. In Pennsylvania Coal v. Mahon (1922), Justice Holmes said: "We are in danger of forgetting that a strong public desire to improve the public condition is not enough to warrant achieving the desire by a shorter cut than the constitutional way of paying for the change." Eighty-five years later, those words still ring true.