Many thanks to Ilya Shapiro, my co-author and fellow Harlan Institute board member for the lovely shout-out at [email protected].
And while I have you thinking about such high-fallutin’ theoretical matters, let me also direct your attention to a new article by an up-and-coming legal scholar, also a friend-of-Cato (and my sometime co-author), Josh Blackman. Josh argues that the Supreme Court’s relatively new “class of one” doctrine, by which a single person can present himself as a class discriminated against in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, should be used to challenge eminent domain abuse. That is, homeowners can establish a class of one (i.e., the person whose home the government takes) if their property is singled out for condemnation while other similarly situated properties are not. The singled-out homeowner(s) can thus challenge the arbitrariness of the government’s taking of their property.
Josh obviously hopes that some court will accept this novel strategy of borrowing equal protection jurisprudence to check rampant eminent domain abuse and vindicate property rights. Here you can download his article, which is titled “Equal Protection from Eminent Domain: Protecting the Home of Olech’s Class of One.” Coincidentally, two years ago Roger Pilon wrote an essay on the Supreme Court’s most recent “class of one” decision, which you can read here.