• Corpus ID: 143001563

Rethinking the Federal Eminent Domain Power

  title={Rethinking the Federal Eminent Domain Power},
  author={William Baude},
  journal={Yale Law Journal},
It is black-letter law that the federal government has the power to take land through eminent domain. This modern understanding, however, is a complete departure from the Constitution’s historical meaning.From the Founding until the Civil War, the federal government was thought to have an eminent domain power only within the District of Columbia and the territories — but not within states. Politicians and judges (including in two Supreme Court decisions) repeatedly denied the existence of such… 
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For some of the leading defenses, see AMAR, supra note 415
    See AMvAR, supra note 415
      supra note 24o, at 1196-1201; and Currie, supra note 229
        Eminent Domain of Texas , 8 Op
        • 1857
        Gold , Redfield , Railroads , and the Roots of “ Laissez - Faire Constitutionalism , ” 27
        • AM . J . LEGAL HIST .
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        For discussion of the rare (and controversial) exercises of a draft-like power in England, see Leider, supra note 442, at 43-44; and Prout, supra note 442
          It is also possible, as the government and four Justices argued, that the Commerce Clause authorizes the mandate by itself
            Gold , Redfield , Railroads , and the Roots of " Laissez - Faire Constitutionalism , " 27 AM
            • J . LEGAL HIST .
            • 1983
            At least with hindsight, the Federalist claim appears patently defective