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Abstract

This Essay argues that there is a seldom-recognized purpose to eminent domain: preserving the ability of elected representatives to respond to the will of the people. The author proposes that eminent domain allows government to depart from the policy choices of administrations which came before and is therefore a tool for acquiring "democratic legitimacy." He explores this theory by examining examples such as breaking up the adult use zones in Times Square and reclaiming New York's waterfront, which had been essentially cut off by highways.

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