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If legal scholar Richard Epstein is right, then the New Deal is wrong, if not unconstitutional. Epstein develops a coherent normative theory that permits us to distinguish between permissible takings for public use and impermissible ones. He then examines a wide range of government regulations and taxes under a single comprehensive theory.
When governments use eminent domain to transfer property between private owners, Americans are outraged - or so most media and academic accounts would have us believe. But these accounts obscure a much more complex reality in American conceptions of property. In this book, Debbie Becher presents the first comprehensive study of a city's eminent domain acquisitions, exploring how and why the City of Philadelphia took properties between 1992 and 2007 and which takings led to protests. She uses original data - collected from city offices and interviews with over a hundred residents, business owners, community leaders, government representatives, attorneys, and appraisers - to explore how eminent domain really works. Becher surprises readers by finding that the city took over 4,000 private properties, or one out of every hundred such properties in Philadelphia, during her study period. Furthermore, these takings only rarely provoked opposition - a fact that established viewson property are ill-equipped to explain. To investigate how Americans judge the legitimacy of eminent domain, Becher devotes several chapters to two highly controversial sets of takings for redevelopment projects. The American Street takings were intended to win popular support for redevelopment and initially succeeded in doing so, but it ended as a near total failure and embarrassment. The Jefferson Square takings initially faced vociferous opposition, but they eventually earned residents'approval and became a political showpiece. Becher uncovers evidence that Americans judge eminent domain through a social conception of property as an investment of value, committed over time, that government is responsible for protecting. This conception has never been described in sociological, legal, political, or economic scholarship, and it stands in stark contrast to the arguments of libertarian and left-leaning activists and academics. But recognizing property as investment, Becher argues, may offer a firm new foundation for more progressive urban policies.
The Economics of Eminent Domain: Private Property, Public Use, and Just Compensation presents an overview of the economics of eminent domain. Beginning with a brief review of the relevant case law for both physical acquisitions and for regulatory takings, the authors survey the economics literature examining eminent domain.
Surveys the contributions that economic theory has made to the often contentious debate over the government's use of its power of eminent domain, as prescribed by the Fifth Amendment. It addresses such questions as: when should the government be allowed to take private property without the owner's consent? Does it depend on how the land will be used? Also, what amount of compensation is the landowner entitled to receive (if any)? The recent case of Kelo v. New London (2005) revitalized the debate, but it was only the latest skirmish in the ongoing struggle between advocates of strong governmental powers to acquire private property in the public interest and private property rights advocates. Written for a general audience, the book advances a coherent theory that views eminent domain within the context of the government's proper role in an economic system whose primary objective is to achieve efficient land use.
Judicial decisions are influenced by myriad political factors, from lawyers and interest groups, to the shifting sentiments of public opinion, to the ideological and behavioral inclinations of the justices. Authors Lee Epstein and Thomas G. Walker show how these dynamics shape the development of constitutional doctrine. Known for fastidious revising and streamlining, the authors incorporate the latest scholarship in the fields of both political science and legal studies and offer rock-solid analysis of both classic and contemporary landmark cases, including key opinions handed down through the 2015 session. Filled with supporting material—photographs of the litigants, sidebars comparing the U.S. with other nations, and "Aftermath" boxes that tell the stories of the parties' lives after the Supreme Court has acted—the text encourages greater student engagement with the material and a more complete understanding of the American constitution.
The wide collection of disciplines and periods represented in this five-volume set make it an ideal companion for courses in intellectual and legal history, political history, economic history, and common and constitutional law. The essays involved offer insightful understanding into the evolution of liberty and property in ways that are accessible to students without a strong technical background in economics, philosophy, or law. They contain probing evaluations of the central problems of legal and political thought that should prove of value to advanced students and specialists in these fields. Volumes also available individually. Volume 1. Classical Foundations of Liberty and Property (0-8153-3555-5) Volume 2. Modern Understanding of Liberty and Property (0-8153-3556-3) Volume 3. Private and Common Property (0-8153-3557-1) Volume 4. Contract-Freedom and Restraint (0-8153-3558-X) Volume 5. Constitutional Protection of Private Property and Freedom of Contract (0-8153-3559-8)
First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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