Quiet and unassuming Susette Kelo believed in the American dream of home ownership. When her dream was achieved and she had restored her New London, CT. little pink house overlooking the Long Island Sound, she never imagined she would become involved in a struggle to hold on to her home — a struggle that would last for almost 10 years.
The Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage by Jeff Benedict follows the eminent domain challenge that brought Susette into the limelight as she became the face of a legal battle against the City of New London. The city used its powers to seize local citizens’ private properties in order to offer the land to Pfizer, Inc. which would then develop the land and significantly increase the blue collar town’s tax revenues. A group of attorneys practicing with the Institute of Justice in Washington, D.C.(www.ij.org) took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (Kelo v. City of New London) where the city’s right to seize private property was upheld.
The outrage over this decision grew around the country until Congress held hearings and a number of states passed legislation limiting the eminent domain powers of local authorities. Kelo’s house eventually was moved off site and dedicated as a national monument to the abuses of eminent domain.
This compelling read will frighten and anger any readers who view too much government control as an intrusion into some of our most basic democratic rights.