“When the U.S. Constitution was written, there was broad consensus in America that private property was a fundamental human right and that government existed to protect it, not to manipulate it to serve purposes politicians deemed more important. But today, the nation’s intellectual elite — and particularly judges — have rejected the traditional principles underlying property rights. They see property as simply a privilege the government can alter or rearrange at will. America’s founders believed that a person’s right to own, buy, sell and use property was a timeless moral principle, not a temporary expedient that changes based on who wins elections. Hence the clash between today’s lawmakers — who want maximum power to manipulate property — and permanent constitutional principles designed to protect each individual’s right to pursue happiness.”
Timothy Sandefur, Setting Boundaries for Property Rights, National Law Journal, August 31, 2009.