Author Archives: Tanya Abrahamian

Eminent Domain: Finding Common Ground

Several environmental groups are teaming up with property rights advocates to file suit against the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC), challenging the Commission’s use of eminent domain in siting pipelines. In October, Mountain Valley Pipeline filed a lawsuit in federal court against Virginia landowners to initiate the acquisition of easements via eminent domain authority through their […]

“Just Compensation”: A Tale of the Dirt Farmer and the Island Owner

Eminent domain—It is a term evocative of aristocracy from a bygone era, one that should be written in gilded script that graces an old regal manuscript. This word association is perhaps accurate given what the term represents in legal parlance: the government’s ability to expropriate the territory of its citizens. In the United States, this […]

Forcing the Invisible Hand: The “Public Use” Conundrum– Part II

This essay is part II of a series authored by Tanya Abrahamian looking at the expansion of takings following the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London. The essays support a reversion to a narrow conception of public use by describing the economic underpinnings of the authority and by countering what it deems to […]

Forcing the Invisible Hand: The “Public Use” Conundrum–Part I

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kelo v. City of New London sanctioned the use of eminent domain authority for private development. This decision was the culmination of a line of cases, each of which gradually eroded the public use constraint articulated in the Fifth Amendment. The first uses of eminent domain, at the time […]