On June 29, 2006, Susette Kelo simply gave up. She could no longer withstand the unrelenting pressure. A nurse in New London, Connecticut, and owner of a small house, she—along with some of her neighbors—had resisted, for five years, the attempt of New London to take her house by eminent domain as part of a plan to entice the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, to expand operations in the city. She had taken her case to the United States Supreme Court, lost, and then continued to remain in possession although she had long since lost title to her house. But finally, on that day, she “agreed to have her pink cottage moved elsewhere in New London. ‘Even though she lost her land, the little pink home that launched a national revolution is safe, and it’s going to stand as a testament to her heroic struggle and the struggle against eminent domain abuse throughout the country,’ said Scott Bullock, a spokesman for the Institute for Justice, which represented the homeowners.”1 Why had she fought a $100 million development project, even though no one felt she could win? Why did her loss in the Supreme Court spark a movement in every state and in Congress to restrict eminent domain laws? And why did the movement come as a surprise to the American political system? This book is the story behind those questions. The book has two unusual features. At the end of the book, the story has just begun. Also, you, the reader, are part of the story. Where are you in the political system, the public opinion polls, the resistance and the laws which tell the story of the eminent domain revolt?
The Stamford Advocate, June 29, 2006 (Stamford, Connecticut, archived at www.stam-