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The Decline and Fall of the Right to Property: Government as Universal Landlord

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Publication Date: October 2007

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Edward J. Erler

Series: First Principles

Topic: Law and ethics (Real estate and property law)

Keywords: Thought; Supreme Court; property rights; Fifth Amendment

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


The Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London indicates that the right to property must now be considered only a conditional right; property is held on the condition that no one else can use the property in a manner that better serves a public purpose. But as America's Founders remind us, the right to property is essential to the maintenance of liberty and the prevention of tyranny.