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The basic ruling of the Court in this case was that the president (President Truman, in this case) does not have the authority to seize private property for public use through an executive order. This is not because seizing private property is inherently unconstitutional. Instead, it is because this is something that only Congress can do. The Supreme Court held that presidents can only act if they have express authority to do something from the Constitution or from a law passed by Congress. It held that there is no provision of the Constitution that allows the president to declare an emergency and to seize private property for public use. Therefore, Truman’s executive order was ruled invalid.
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