The Eminent Domain Revolt: Changing Perceptions in a New Constitutional Epoch

By John Ryskamp | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5. THE EARLY DAYS OF THE NEW BILL OF RIGHTS

WHAT THE FOURTH EPOCH INHERITS

In response to public opinion’s concept of possession, the political system finally looked to be coalescing around the concept of order, as resistance impeded the smooth operation of the regime. Could order be used as a method of splitting public opinion and reducing resistance to the point that resistance could be destroyed? Opposition to eminent domain struck at every organizing principle of the “minimum scrutiny” regime: expertise, progress, development, the standard of living, law. Elitist these notions might be, nevertheless they were the source of all paychecks. It might provide a basis on which the police and the military could be ordered into politics.

Events outpaced authority. On July 31, 2005, The Day editorialized:

Ms. Kelo [in her testimony before the legislative committee investigating
eminent domain] presented the other side poignantly, what it’s like to be forced
out of a well-kept home you love.… If the legislature is to preserve eminent do-
main in its toolbox for repairing hurting cities, it must address this human issue
in a way that quiets the public outrage over the issue and invites confidence.
Doing so may not be as complicated as many suggest, but it also is not as simple
as Scott Bullock, the lawyer for the Institute for Justice, told the committees
Thursday. Mr. Bullock’s solution would be to completely do away with the use
of eminent domain for economic development and tightening up the require-
ments for its use in blighted areas.… That would seem to us to be too draconian,
and unnecessarily handicap cities.… The alternative is to raise the bar for using
eminent domain for urban renewal and municipal development plans from what
is currently allowed under Connecticut law. One approach to doing this came

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The Eminent Domain Revolt: Changing Perceptions in a New Constitutional Epoch
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Glossary ix
  • Table of Contents xi
  • Foreword 1
  • The Eminent Domain Revolt 9
  • Chapter 1- Individual Rights before Kelo V. New London 11
  • Chapter 2- Kelo and Its Discontents 65
  • Chapter 3- The New Bill of Rights as Law 123
  • Chapter 4- The New Bill of Rights as Fact 167
  • Chapter 5- The Early Days of the New Bill of Rights 201
  • Conclusion 251
  • Bibliography 261
  • Index 265
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