The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and analyze the eminent domain laws. Specifically it will discuss a variety of cases involving eminent domain, and argue that the eminent domain laws should be rewritten and updated. Eminent Domain Laws may be some of the most controversial constitutional laws facing Americans today. Recent cases have shown that the law favors business owners and city government rights over the rights of property owners. Thus, eminent domain has become a tool of aggression rather than a tool of last resort in development. The eminent domain laws were created for cities and towns to redevelop undesirable properties into more successful properties, but in more recent times, the laws have been used to take private property and give it to profit-making businesses for the "good" of the community. Unfortunately, this process usually injures the property owner while rewarding the profiteers. The eminent domain laws in the U.S. are antiquated and no longer applicable to modern redevelopment. They are unworkable and unfair, and they should be rewritten or stricken from the constitution to ensure the rights of all Americans.
Basically, the Eminent Domain Laws exist in both the Federal and State Constitutions. They give governments the power to condemn private property and use that property for public use, but they must "reasonably" compensate the owner of the property when they do. Over time, the law has changed in the minds of government and throughout the court system. Initially, eminent domain was not used very often, because of the public use clause, and because of the need to compensate the owner.
But more recently, eminent domain has been revitalized and supported by the courts, and has become a tool for governments to take land from small, non-influential property owners and transfer it to developers who are well connected, who then built for-profit enterprises on the land. The justification is that... [continues]
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