Kelo v. City of New London effectively turned an explicit constitutional right into a nullity. Though the language of the Fifth Amendment is clear — “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation” — state and local governments for years had been getting away with using eminent domain to facilitate what amounted to private development. The New London case offered a perfect opportunity to end that abuse, by reaffirming that when the Constitution says “public use,” it means public use. Instead it did the opposite, and Americans were appalled.
…What occurred in New London epitomizes a timeless truth: Where property rights are precarious, freedom is precarious. “Little Pink House,” gripping and infuriating, makes clear what can happen when the government decides your home is no longer your castle.