Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century by Timothy Sandefur

By Timothy Sandefur

Ten years after the excellent Court's notorious eminent area decision, Kelo v. New London, Timothy and Christina Sandefur's Cornerstone of Liberty surveys the panorama of estate rights within the usa, from redevelopment initiatives that grab people's houses and companies for the good thing about politically-connected builders, to environmental laws that forbid humans from development houses on land they supposedly personal, to asset-forfeiture legislation that permit the police grab estate focused on a criminal offense whether the landlord isn't really accused of any wrongdoing.  This moment version has been nearly thoroughly rewritten, incorporating info discovered in simple terms after Kelo was determined, in addition to an research of the post-Kelo reform efforts, and newer ideally suited court docket judgements corresponding to the Sackett and Koontz cases.  The Sandefurs combine real-life tales with the philosophical and felony heritage of personal estate rights to teach why the proper to possession is among the such a lot crucial of human rights. The Sandefurs additionally supply sensible options for larger preserving homeowners.

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When the government ignores or violates those rights, it endangers the well-being not only of individual citizens but of society in general. There is little incentive to invest in a community and work to improve it if the government can take property away at any time and give it to some other person or group that the bureaucrats prefer. Not only does private property allow individuals to define themselves and come together with others who share their values, it also allows them to plan for the future, to secure their retirement or insure against possible future losses.

When I opened the door,’’ Dr. Sweet testified, ‘‘I realized that I was facing that same mob that had hounded my people through its entire history. ’’133 When the first trial ended in a hung jury, Sweet and the others were retried. S. Supreme 42 Why Property Rights Are Important Court—turned to them with instructions. ‘‘Under the law,’’ he said, ‘‘a man’s house is his castle. It is his castle, whether he is white or black, and no man has the right to assault or invade it . . 135 But Sweet’s life was never the same.

56 For someone else—or for a group of people— to deprive a person of the product of his labor would be, so to speak, stealing that person from himself and from God. ’’57 And since nobody can have the right to deprive another person of what he or she has earned, nobody can transfer such authority to the government. Each person is in charge of his own life and the fruits of his labor; the government exists simply to ensure that people respect each other’s rights. Property rights thus build a sphere of privacy around a person, within which he or she is free to act without anyone else interfering: a realm of personal dominion where people may make their own choices.

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