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Public Power, Private Gain

Public Power, Private Gain

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This comprehensive report, prepared by the Institute for Justice and senior attorney Dana Berliner, carefully catalogs the extent of the problem of eminent domain abuse. It illustrates how municipal good intention, often for urban redevelopment or economic promise, can be unfairly built upon the rightful ownership of others. When projects are carried out heavy-highhandedly and unnecessarily, not through voluntary transaction, but coercion, the protection of property is eroded and our bedrock freedom to decide upon our own course is worn away.
This comprehensive report, prepared by the Institute for Justice and senior attorney Dana Berliner, carefully catalogs the extent of the problem of eminent domain abuse. It illustrates how municipal good intention, often for urban redevelopment or economic promise, can be unfairly built upon the rightful ownership of others. When projects are carried out heavy-highhandedly and unnecessarily, not through voluntary transaction, but coercion, the protection of property is eroded and our bedrock freedom to decide upon our own course is worn away.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Institute for Justice on Apr 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution No Derivatives

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11/24/2012

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“Government is instituted to protect property of every sort,” wrote Madison, and for thisreason, “that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, what-ever is his own.” This precept of justice was embodied in the Fifth Amendment’s pro-tection of private property, where by constitutional text, property can be taken only forpublic use and upon the payment of just compensation. For reasons that are moreregrettable than rational, the courts have greatly relaxed the public use requirement.Inevitably, this invites the taking or eminent domain power to be misused—either byinefficient or corrupt application or both.The extent of this abuse is widespread, but until recently, largely unaddressed—in partbecause isolated landowners confronted with costly and cumbersome condemnationprocedures seldom have the legal or political wherewithal to stand against the winds of power. The public advocacy and litigation defense of the Institute for Justice is chang-ing this by standing with landowners singled out for disfavor. Whether family, farmer, orsmall merchant, these owners wish only for what Madison said our Constitution guaran-tees—the protection of property.This comprehensive report, prepared by the Institute for Justice and senior attorneyDana Berliner, carefully catalogues the extent of the problem of eminent domain abuse.It illustrates how municipal good intention, often for urban redevelopment or economicpromise, can be unfairly built upon the rightful ownership of others. When projects arecarried out heavy-handedly and unnecessarily, not through voluntary transaction, butcoercion, the protection of property is eroded and our bedrock freedom to decide uponour own course is worn away.
Douglas
W
W.
K
Kmiec
Dean & St. Thomas More Professor of Law,The Catholic University of America; senior policy fellow,Pepperdine University.
 
Foreword
by Douglas W. Kmiec
 
Table Of Contents
Executive Summary 1Introduction 4Alabama 10Alaska 12Arizona 14Arkansas 18California 20Colorado 38Connecticut 44Delaware 51Florida 52Georgia 59Hawaii 60Idaho 63Illinois 64Indiana 71Iowa 75Kansas 78Kentucky 81Louisiana 86Maine 89Maryland 92Massachusetts 95Michigan 100Minnesota 107Mississippi 113

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