Evicted! Property Rights and Eminent Domain in America

By David Schultz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
If My Home Is My Castle, Can
the Government or Other
Thugs Take My Property?

Just after the house was built, along came a wolf.
He knocked at the door of the little pig’s house and called,
“Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”
But the little pig answered, “No, no! Not by the hair of my
chinny chin chin!”
Then the wolf said, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your
house in!”

—”Three Little Pigs”


THE POST-KELO REACTION

Property rights advocates lost the legal battle in Kelo but they did not lose the war over eminent domain. Instead, one of the most surprising aspects to the Kelo decision was the public reaction to it. The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the use of eminent domain to take private property from one owner and give it to another in order to promote economic development angered many. The titles of the many articles alone tell the tale of the public reaction.1

For example, Timothy Egan’s “Ruling Sets Off Tug of War Over Private Property” (noting the efforts in Congress and the states after the Kelo opinion to condemn it or limit it with legislation), Michael Corkery and Ryan Chittum’s “Eminent-Domain Uproar Imperils Projects” (discussing how the Kelo opinion is causing a backlash against many projects involving the use of eminent domain), and Nick Timiraos’s “States May Raze Court’s Eminent Domain Ruling” (noting the adverse reaction many

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