Wednesday, August 3

EMINENT DOMAIN -- SCOTUS' GIFT TO PRIVATE DEVELOPERS

I published this post on June 23rd in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Kelo v. New London to expand radically the government's rights in eminent domain cases, allowing local governments to sieze private property not just for public purposes, but also for private commercial interests. The upshot of the SCOTUS' decision: private property is no longer sacred in the United States of America, pure and simple.

I wrote:

Eminent domain has, in the process, become a virtually unchecked, unrestrained right of the government to seize private property and disrespect the private citizen.

If the notion of an out-of-control Federal judiciary has escaped the grasp of many citizens up until now, particularly Liberal Democrats, those folks ought to begin re-thinking their positions with this egregious decision by the black robes.
Justices O'Conner and Thomas, in their dissent, wrote:

Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded -- i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public ...
The Justices continued:

Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private property, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The founders cannot have intended this perverse result.

Well, a perverse result has come to roost in San Diego, California, where a 50-year old laundry business, employing 150 people and serving about 3,000 area businesses, is falling under the reach of Kelo v. New London, as city officials have conveniently designated the area in which the business resides as "blighted," and have cozied up to a local developer, CLB Development, that wooed city officials with plans for condos, townhouses, and retail stores.

Do you have any idea the odds against any business surviving 50 years? It's a credit to the owners and the people they employ! This is capitalism and free enterprise at its best. But now San Diego has decided the "good of the community" demands that this business be put out of business. And SCOTUS is there to aid and abett in this travesty.

SOURCE: Fox News


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