Eminent Domain, Property Rights, and the Solution of Representation Reinforcement
56 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2005
Courts at both the federal and state level are busy remaking the law of eminent domain, most notably in the controversial Kelo decision. Property rights advocates argue that courts should scrutinize more closely government's ability to take property with plans to transfer it to private developers. But asking courts to second-guess the wisdom of governmental policy decisions cannot be a workable solution. Instead, eminent domain could be tightened by relying on the idea of representation reinforcement, through which courts boost the interests of those groups who are unlikely to have their voices heard in the political realm. Across the nation, local governments are using eminent domain to discourage residency by poor persons. This article proposes that eminent domain be constitutionally impermissible when it is both used to take land destined for private hands and disproportionately hurts the poor or politically disadvantaged.
Keywords: Eminent Domain, Kelo Decision, Property Rights, Private Developers
JEL Classification: K10, K11, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation