Property rights are the cornerstone of liberty

January 20, 2016 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

My new book, coauthored with Christina Sandefur, is Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America. It’ll be officially published February 2, although the paperback edition is already available on Kindle version is on its way. available today!

Also, Christina and I will be speaking about our book on February 9 at the Cato Institute in Washington. All are welcome (or you can join us on the webcast)!

I say “new,” even though it’s a second edition, because Cornerstone has been almost entirely re-written. We’ve added a more thorough discussion of the philosophical meaning of property rights, and the constitutional foundation for them. We’ve added much more detail that has emerged about the infamous Kelo eminent domain case. And we discuss the Supreme Court’s decisions in the Kootz and Sackett cases, recent disputes over the Endangered Species Act, civil asset forfeiture, laws restricting the “sharing economy,” and many other things. Throughout, the book is illustrated with cases from PLF’s decades of work promoting and defending this fundamental human right. And we conclude with specific, practical proposals, including model legislation, for how state lawmakers can protect property rights, and the individual and social values that they promote, in their home states. This is a new book, not just an update.

Private property holds together a free society. It enables free societies to create wealth, it enables minorities to defend themselves against prejudiced majorities, and it allows people to realize their values in physical form: to live the way they believe, to express themselves, and to enjoy the fruits of their labors. It is truly the cornerstone of liberty.