Should the U.S. government be allowed to seize private property?

Eminent domain is defined as “the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.” Recently, several high-profile cases of private landowners being forced to give up land to the federal government have drawn into question the constitutionality of such a practice.


Eminent Domain Case: How Can You Take My House?

Hartford Loses Eminent Domain Fight, Ordered to Pay Nearly $3 Million More

Landowners Likely To Bring More Lawsuits As Trump Moves On Border Wall

Additional resources to think about

Protest and Politics 
This curriculum from Annenberg Learner Essential Lens collection compiles photographs and facts into a story of protests from the 1960s and how student uprisings changed history.

The Long, Necessary History Of 'Whiny' Black Protesters At College
To many people, the recent protests cropping up in colleges across the country represent a new generation of students that are over-sensitive and entitled. But according to one reporter, these demands aren't new.


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)?
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • Are there any symbols? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2020, Center for Media Literacy,


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