Author: Guy F. Burnett
Publisher: Lexington Books
Release Date: 2014-12-11
Genre: Political Science
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. New London that a city might take property from one private owner and transfer it to another for economic redevelopment. The ruling marked a new interpretation of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and set a precedent which has raised significant questions regarding government takings and property rights. The ruling also reawakened a public interest in private property and created a vicious reaction among many citizens, journalists, academics, and legislators. This book is unique because it offers an in-depth analysis of the case law found in the opinions and decisions of the state and federal courts, but also uses a variety of other sources including the oral argument before the Supreme Court, the amicus curiae briefs, American political and legal history, as well as the personal stories of those involved in the case. This book also analyzes the public backlash from several different perspectives including opinion polls, media coverage, academic articles and commentary, subsequent case law, and legislative action. Finally, this book offers an insightful critique of the case, including what the Supreme Court got wrong, what it got right, and where the law and courts should go from here.
Author: Ilya Somin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-11-29
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the city of New London, Connecticut, could condemn fifteen residential properties in order to transfer them to a new private owner. Although the Fifth Amendment only permits the taking of private property for “public use,” the Court ruled that the transfer of condemned land to private parties for “economic development” is permitted by the Constitution—even if the government cannot prove that the expected development will ever actually happen. The Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London empowered the grasping hand of the state at the expense of the invisible hand of the market. In this detailed study of one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases in modern times, Ilya Somin argues that Kelo was a grave error. Economic development and “blight” condemnations are unconstitutional under both originalist and most “living constitution” theories of legal interpretation. They also victimize the poor and the politically weak for the benefit of powerful interest groups and often destroy more economic value than they create. Kelo itself exemplifies these patterns. The residents targeted for condemnation lacked the influence needed to combat the formidable government and corporate interests arrayed against them. Moreover, the city’s poorly conceived development plan ultimately failed: the condemned land lies empty to this day, occupied only by feral cats. The Supreme Court’s unpopular ruling triggered an unprecedented political reaction, with forty-five states passing new laws intended to limit the use of eminent domain. But many of the new laws impose few or no genuine constraints on takings. The Kelo backlash led to significant progress, but not nearly as much as it may have seemed. Despite its outcome, the closely divided 5-4 ruling shattered what many believed to be a consensus that virtually any condemnation qualifies as a public use under the Fifth Amendment. It also showed that there is widespread public opposition to eminent domain abuse. With controversy over takings sure to continue, The Grasping Hand offers the first book-length analysis of Kelo by a legal scholar, alongside a broader history of the dispute over public use and eminent domain and an evaluation of options for reform.
Author: Timothy Sandefur
Publisher: Cato Institute
Release Date: 2006-10-25
The right to own and use private property is among the most essential human rights and the essential basis for economic growth. That’s why America’s Founders guaranteed it in the Constitution. Yet in today’s America, government tramples on this right in countless ways. Regulations forbid people to use their property as they wish, bureaucrats extort enormous fees from developers in exchange for building permits, and police departments snatch personal belongings on the suspicion that they were involved in crimes. In the case of Kelo v. New London, the Supreme Court even declared that government may seize homes and businesses and transfer the land to private developers to build stores, restaurants, or hotels. That decision was met with a firestorm of criticism across the nation. In this, the first book on property rights to be published since the Kelo decision, Timothy Sandefur surveys the landscape of private property in America’s third century. Beginning with the role property rights play in human nature, Sandefur describes how America’s Founders wrote a Constitution that would protect this right and details the gradual erosion that began with the Progressive Era’s abandonment of the principles of individual liberty. Sandefur tells the gripping stories of people who have found their property threatened: Frank Bugryn and his Connecticut Christmas-tree farm; Susette Kelo and the little dream house she renovated; Wilhelmina Dery and the house she was born in, 80 years before bureaucrats decided to take it; Dorothy English and the land she wanted to leave to her children; and Kenneth Healing and his 17-year legal battle for permission to build a home. Thanks to the abuse of eminent domain and asset forfeiture laws, federal, state, and local governments have now come to see property rights as mere permissions, which can be revoked at any time in the name of the “greater good.” In this book, Sandefur explains what citizens can do to restore the Constitution’s protections for this “cornerstone of liberty.”
Author: Jeff Benedict
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: 2009-01-26
SOON TO BE A MOTION PICTURE STARRING CATHERINE KEENER "Catherine Keener nails the combination of anger, grace, and attitude that made Susette Kelo a nationally known crusader." -- Deadline Hollywood Suzette Kelo was just trying to rebuild her life when she purchased a falling down Victorian house perched on the waterfront in New London, CT. The house wasn't particularly fancy, but with lots of hard work Suzette was able to turn it into a home that was important to her, a home that represented her new found independence. Little did she know that the City of New London, desperate to revive its flailing economy, wanted to raze her house and the others like it that sat along the waterfront in order to win a lucrative Pfizer pharmaceutical contract that would bring new business into the city. Kelo and fourteen neighbors flat out refused to sell, so the city decided to exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn their homes, launching one of the most extraordinary legal cases of our time, a case that ultimately reached the United States Supreme Court. In Little Pink House, award-winning investigative journalist Jeff Benedict takes us behind the scenes of this case -- indeed, Suzette Kelo speaks for the first time about all the details of this inspirational true story as one woman led the charge to take on corporate America to save her home. Praise for the book: "Passionate...a page-turner with conscience." -- Publishers Weekly
Author: Eric T. Kasper
Release Date: 2010
Politicians, scholars, and even Supreme Court justices often look to Madison's broader body of work for guidance when interpreting the Bill of Rights. This title presents examination of Madison's political philosophy as reflected in the "Bill of Rights" and modern interpretations by Supreme Court justices.