Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America
Timothy Sandefur, one of a growing number of young attorneys defending owners today, discusses his new book on the problem, with comments by John Echeverria, who offers a very different perspective on the issue.
A little over a year ago, the Supreme Court lit a firestorm across America when it upheld the decision of the City of New London, Connecticut, to transfer Susette Kelo's home to another owner who could make "better" use of it. With that, Americans finally came to realize the present perilous state of their property rights - and many state legislatures have responded. But others argue that the Court got it right, that the judiciary, except in extreme cases, should leave the political choice of whether to exercise eminent domain to our elected representatives, and that the state legislatures have so far basically gotten it right by charting different courses for different state circumstances- The Cato Institute
John D. Echeverria
John D. Echeverria is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, which conducts research and education on legal and policy issues related to protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources.
Mr. Echeverria is the former General Counsel of the National Audubon Society, the former General Counsel and Conservation Director of American Rivers, Inc., and a graduate of the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
He served as law clerk to the Honorable Gerhard Gesell of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.
Mr. Echeverria has written extensively on the takings issue and various other aspects of environmental and natural resource law. He frequently represents state and local governments, environmental organizations, planning organizations and others in regulatory takings cases at all levels of the federal and state court systems.
He filed a brief in the Kelo case along with Professor Thomas Merrill of Columbia Law School on behalf of the American Planning Association and the Congress for Community Economic Development.
Roger Pilon is the founder and director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies, which has become an important force in the national debate over constitutional interpretation and judicial philosophy. He is the publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review and is an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University through The Fund for American Studies.
Prior to joining Cato, Pilon held five senior posts in the Reagan administration, including at State and Justice, and was a National Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. In 1989 the Bicentennial Commission presented him with its Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in writing on the U.S. Constitution. In 2001 Columbia University's School of General Studies awarded him its Alumni Medal of Distinction.
Pilon lectures and debates at universities and law schools across the country and testifies often before Congress. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, National Law Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Stanford Law & Policy Review, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC's Nightline, CBS's 60 Minutes II, Fox News Channel, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and other media.
Pilon holds a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law.
Timothy Sandefur is a Staff Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he is currently working to prevent the abuse of eminent domain, and to protect the right to earn a living under the Fourteenth Amendment. Mr. Sandefur holds a J.D. from Chapman University School of Law, and a B.A. in political economy from Hillsdale College.
While a student at Chapman, he served as articles editor for Nexus: A Journal of Opinion, and worked in Chapman's Liberty Clinic with Prof. John C. Eastman, Prof. Richard A. Epstein, and former United States Attorney General Edwin Meese, submitting amicus curiae briefs in a number of important cases, including Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, Adarand Constructors v. Mineta, and Schaffer v. O'Niell, in the Supreme Court of the United States, Bouldin v. Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority, in the Supreme Court of Mississippi, and Craigmiles v. Giles, one of the most important economic liberties cases in recent years.