Looking to find out more about eminent domain abuse? Check out these books and studies, all of which provide remarkable insight into practically every aspect of the issue. Whether it’s framing today’s debate in the context of the disastrous urban renewal policies of the 1950’s (Root Shock or The Federal Bulldozer), tracing the jurisprudence of eminent domain through the last several decades (Public Use, Private Use and Judicial Review in Eminent Domain), or gaining a deeper understanding of the people affected by this abuse of government power (Abuse of Power), these resources are sure to start you in the right direction.
If you know of a helpful book or resource, please let us know.
Cornerstone of Liberty:
Property Rights in 21st Century America
By Tim Sandefur
One year ago – on June 23, 2005 – the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Kelo case created a firestorm of interest in protecting property rights. Following the Kelo decision to expand the use of eminent domain to include private use, grassroots organizations have been energized across the country; eight states have moved to either prohibit or restrict the use of eminent domain; and currently, thirty state legislatures are considering limits. In this timely new book published by the Cato Institute, Timothy Sandefur, a staff attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, explains how property rights are protected in the U.S. Constitution and through a combination of real-life stories and solid legal analysis examines how courts and legislatures have diminished property rights, and then lays out an agenda for protecting property rights in the aftermath of the Court’s decision.
Abuse of Power:
How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain
By Steven Greenhut
Orange County Register editorial writer Steven Greenhut’s book warns that government can grab your home or small business at any time using redevelopment laws, paying you what they—and not the market—thinks it is worth. Worse yet, the government can give your property to a private company to build a mall or perhaps homes for people richer than you. Inspired by the Institute for Justice’s work against eminent domain abuse, Greenhut’s book offers readers not only war stories on abuse, but also practical tips on fighting and winning against the abuse of eminent domain. Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain is available through Laissez Faire Books.
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, M.D., Root Shock; How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, And What We Can Do About It (Random House, 2004)
E. Michael Jones, The Slaughter of Cities; Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing (St. Augustine's Press, 2004)
Martin Anderson, The Federal Bulldozer: A Critical Analysis of Urban Renewal 1949–62 (MIT Press, 1964)
Richard A. Epstein, Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (Harvard University Press 1985)
Laura Mansnerus, Public Use, Private Use and Judicial Review in Eminent Domain, 58 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 413 (1983).
Jeanie Wylie, Poletown: Community Betrayed (University of Illinois Press, 1989).
See the history of the Poletown controversy
Tom Bethell, The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages (St. Martin's Press 1999).
Gideon Kanner, Developments in the Right-to-Take Law: Is the End of the Redevelopment Scam Coming, ALI-ABA Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Course Materials, Jan. 2002. A link to this article will be available online in the near future.
Michael Malamut, The Power to Take: Use of Eminent Domain in Massachusetts, Pioneer Institute White Paper No. 15 (December 2000), available online.
Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform, Redevelopment: The Unknown Government: A Report to the People of California (2001). You have to send away for the 2001 version, but the 1998 version is available online.
Ellen Frankel Paul, Property Rights and Eminent Domain (Transaction Books 1987).