The Eminent Domain Revolt: Changing Perceptions in a New Constitutional Epoch

New book

By John Ryskamp

What's behind the anger against eminent domain? It's a movement sweeping your state and the entire country. This book is an in-depth analysis of the profound legal issues, and proposed changes which go far beyond seizing property and land use regulation.

It provides an up-to-the-minute report on the law and politics of eminent domain after the Supreme Court's contentious Kelo v. New London decision of June of 2005.

States are debating reforming their eminent domain laws, and this presentation is intended to help legislators frame the debate. As such, it goes into the history out of which the Constitution arose, as well as legal background. In the Lindsey v. Normet Supreme Court case, 405 US 56 (1972), for instance, the Court found there was no right to housing, which the author asserts is one of the reasons we are in the midst of this eminent domain controversy now. However, the Court made it clear in its decision that it was simply the argument which was not convincing, not that such a right could not be found.

This book presents, among other things, a new housing right argument. However, the dominant theme is the unsettled nature of the law and facts of the controversy.

In an area in which public opinion will determine much of the outcome, there are no experts; public opinion is just beginning to coalesce and people need to inform and think for themselves.

What is needed is information, and a clear presentation of arguments to use when testing their various views. Legal scholars may disagree about Ryskamp's assertion that the right to housing falls under Fifth Amendment's Due Process clause, but the book will convince many readers that we have to start working to understand the legal principles involved

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