Eminent Domain and the Rule of Law
One of the distinguishing features of a free society is its defense of the right of private property. As every individual has the right to his life, so has he the right to those things necessary to sustain life—among them, the private ownership of property and the ability to keep the fruits of his labor. Those rights not only assure that the individual enjoy the life and liberty promised him by a free society, but also assure continued freedom, independence, and security for all.
The institution of private property, however, is not without its critics. Socialists of all types decry private property as plunder and many parts of the world have instituted public ownership of the means of production. In this country, however, criticism about the validity of the institution of private property itself is very limited. Yet, in spite of the consensus regarding the legitimacy of private property, the concept itself has suffered a progressive erosion which is reaching potentially alarming proportions. As massive government intervention and forcible income redistribution has become the order of the day, real estate has come into play as an adequate means for the involuntary transfer of wealth.