About this Book Review
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court by a 5–4 vote allowed the New London Development Corporation to take Susette Kelo’s little pink house, along with those of her neighbors who took part in the constitutional challenge that bore her name. Legal scholars were unsurprised by the decision, but ordinary Americans across the political spectrum were outraged by the endorsement of local government’s power to seize their homes.
A decade later, Ilya Somin presents a comprehensive, well-organized case for the strict federal constitutional constraints on state and local use of eminent domain that the Kelo majority declined to impose. More particularly, Somin argues that, properly understood, the Fifth Amendment’s public use clause, as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits them from seizing privately owned property for transfer to other private entities in the name of economic development. He seeks to sway his readers by educating them: first about the circumstances of the Kelo litigation, then about the history of public use clause jurisprudence, and finally about the aftermath of the Kelo decision.
Somin begins with a fairly balanced view of the parties involved in the development plan dispute that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. This evenhanded tone eases the open-minded re
To continue reading, see options above.
About PSQ's EditorDemetrios James Caraley
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
From the Archives
LONDON TERRORIST ATTACK
Tactical Advantages of Terror
RICHARD BETTS applies offense-defense theory to explain the intense advantages that terrorist groups have in launching offensive strikes and in exploiting the defenses that a nation can put up in this era of globalization and asymmetric warfare.
Search the Archives
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
Academy of Political Science
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
Political Science Quarterly
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.