Pajamasphere Citizen media in action.

June 24, 2005

Eminent Domain Outrage

Take action to mitigate the effects of Kelo. Please join the Castle Coalition. They've been on the case for years, and do great work. Also, please post the link far and wide. (The usual disclosure: my only affiliation with them is the checks I've written to the Institute for Justice over the years.)


At its best, the "pajamasphere" (blogosphere) gives citizens an unprecedented opportunity to see issues from new perspectives. It's easy to become cynical; there's certainly no shortage of invective and political stereotyping. But it's also demonstrably true that civil discourse takes place, and viewpoints evolve. In my view, strong protection against the government's power of eminent domain is an issue that should find wide support across the political spectrum. It's an opportunity for people whose views may often diverge to work together towards a common goal.

In Kelo, the "liberal" and "moderate" justices sided with big companies; the "conservative" justices defended the rights of the individual. Is it too much to hope that some liberals and moderates who are outraged by this ruling will see libertarian and "conservative" views in a new light? I'm not asking anyone to "jump ship" over a single ruling, just to stop demonizing the opposition long enough to see the common ground that exists.

One more thought. This issue provides a clear example of the benefits of following the plain meaning of the U.S. Constitution. (Again, I don't expect one ruling to change anyone's judicial philosophy. But, at the very least, it should provide insight into other people's views.)


Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain
by Richard A. Epstein
Abuse Of Power: How The Government Misuses Eminent Domain
by Steven Greenhut
Property: Takings
by David A. Dana, Thomas W. Merrill
Privilege and Creative Destruction : The Charles River Bridge Case
by Stanley I. Kutler


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