Kelo revisited

July 11, 2018 | By BRIAN HODGES

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment promises that the government will not take private property unless it is for a valid public use and the owner is fully compensated. And yet, we all know that Kelo v. City of New London, Conn. (2005) allowed a Connecticut city to condemn a middle class neighborhood for private … ...


Kelo strikes again

January 31, 2018 | By BRIAN HODGES

One of the key protections enshrined by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the requirement that any exercise of eminent domain must be for a valid public use. … ...


PLF asks Louisiana Supreme Court to curtail eminent domain abuse

March 16, 2017 | By BRIAN HODGES

Eminent domain—the sovereign’s authority to take private property without the owner’s consent—is a terrible and awesome power, which is why the nation’s founders placed two key restrictions on its exercise: that government shall not take property unless it is for a valid public use and just compensation is paid. Those restrict ...


Property rights & the Roberts Court

September 29, 2015 | By BRIAN HODGES

In an article published today by Engage, PLF attorneys Brian T. Hodges and Christopher M. Kieser consider the U.S. Supreme Court’s most recent property rights case, Horne v. United States Department of Agriculture, in the context of the Roberts Court’s property rights jurisprudence. Spoiler alert: the Court’s track record is bette ...


A winning hand for the Fifth Amendment

September 11, 2015 | By MARK MILLER

Last month, the Constitution won a hand in an Atlantic City Court. That’s a victory for all Americans. The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), a state agency, sought to take the Atlantic City family home of Charlie Birnbaum. Birnbaum’s family had owned the home for decades, but that didn’t matter to state ...


Is there any limit to the Takings Clause's Public Use requirement?

June 30, 2014 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Last week, the Utah Supreme Court revived a challenge to the Utah Department of Transportation’s abuse of eminent domain. The Department needed a small part (1.2 acres) of a larger parcel (15 acres) for a light rail project. Instead of condemning the part of the property necessary for the project, the Department decided to take … ...


Courts must protect the politically powerless from having their property rights abused

December 19, 2013 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Pacific Legal Foundation has filed an amici brief in the Supreme Court of New Jersey on behalf of itself, the National Federation of Independent Business, Institute for Justice and Ilya Somin arguing that New Jersey courts must take seriously their obligation to enforce the limits of the state constitution. Like many states, New Jersey only allows ...


Perhaps trusting the fox to guard the hen house wasn't such a good idea

April 02, 2013 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Last month, Alabama decided to once again allow the government to take land from one private property owner to give it to politically influential corporations and other private parties.  As readers know, these collusive schemes between powerful corporations and governments were sanctioned by the Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London.  That ...


RIP James Buchanan

January 09, 2013 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

Nobel laureate James Buchanan died today at the age of 93. Along with his colleague Gordon Tullock, Buchanan founded the branch of political economy called “public choice.” Public choice theory studies the economic incentives of legislating—and explains how private interest groups use government to shut out competition or to seize lan ...