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Blog

A Brief Overview of Eminent Domain

In New Hampshire, there has been much controversy over the past few years over the “Northern Pass,” a transmission line project that would bring hydroelectric power from Canada to New England. One of the particular things that helped build the controversy was its potential use of Eminent Domain to help acquire land for the project to be built on during construction.

05/09/2017
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Blog

Support the Private Property Rights Protection Act, H.R. 1689

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representatives and urge them to cosponsor the Private Property Protection Act, H.R. 1689, introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). The bill would put strict limitations on the federal, state and local governments from exercising its power of eminent domain for economic development.

05/08/2017
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Op-ed Placement

The Eminent Donald Trump Has A Weakness

A poll released by The Des Moines Register on the eve of the Iowa caucuses found that Donald Trump’s support of eminent domain bothered 60% of Republican caucus-goers. It is quite likely the focus on the issue is why the real estate mogul’s failed to win.

02/09/2016
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Blog

Donald Trump versus the Founding Fathers: Private property rights are the cornerstone of liberty

Private property has always had a unique place in American society. The Founding Fathers recognized that government exists to protect private property. They were influenced by Enlightenment-era philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith, who believed the right to property was a fundamental, natural right. Donald Trump, however, appears to believe that private property can be taken on a whim by the influential and politically-connected.

08/25/2015
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Blog

House Judiciary Committee Revisits Kelo, Decides State of Property Rights Not Good

Ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court effectively scratched the line “for public use” from the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, which allows the government to take and repurpose private property. The 5-4 decision in Kelo v. New London said that property may be taken from one private owner and given to another private owner if it will generate more revenue for the city.

07/10/2015
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Blog

Grassroots Response to Kelo Decision

Today represents the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The Supreme Court issues decisions in around eighty cases each year. Some of those decisions, like Kelo, are closely contested 5-4 decisions. But Kelo has been unique because of the response that came from the public.

06/23/2015
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Kelo v. New London: How the Supreme Court Gutted Constitutional Protections for Private Property

Ten years ago today, the United States Supreme Court fundamentally changed the meaning and purpose of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which allows for the use of eminent domain for “public use,” such as a road. But in a 5 to 4 decision, the Court ruled that eminent domain could be used to take property from a private citizen for purposes other than a public use.

06/23/2015
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Kelo v. New London: Central Planning Does Not Work, Ruins Lives

Last Thursday, the Cato Institute held an event foreshadowing the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London decision and celebrating the release of Ilya Somin’s new book, The Grasping Hand: “Kelo v. City of New London” & the Limits of Eminent Domain. There was an impressive cast of presenters with welcoming remarks by Richard Epstein, keynote delivered by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and panelists which included attorneys that represented both sides in oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

06/15/2015
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Blog

Taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook for baseball teams' stadiums

In the 1989 movie, Field of Dreams, Terrance Mann, a reclusive civil rights hero played by James Earl Jones, gave a passionate speech in the climax of the movie in which he described the love-affair Americans have with baseball, our national pastime. "The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again,” Mann said.

04/06/2015
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Blog

Has eminent domain abuse backfired?

In June 2005, the Supreme Court effectively gutted the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, ruling in Kelo v. New London that governments could take private property not just for public use but also for private purposes. This case involved Susette Kelo and other homeowners who resided in New London, Connecticut's Fort Trumbull neighborhood who were fighting the local government for its use of eminent domain for economic development purposes -- the theft of property from private owners to another.

10/17/2014

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