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Life After Kelo v. City of New London
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 4:24 pm | By Anthony Lizan

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the infamous and universally detested Supreme Court decision on Kelo v. City of New London. Susette Kelo’s land was condemned and given to the Pfizer Corporation so it could build a new research and development base. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that New London was in compliance with the takings clause of the 5th amendment, because the “public” would benefit economically. The ruling gave the government an unprecedented amount of power over the property of private citizens.

Today, the land that Kelo’s house once stood upon is now barren, and the supposed economic benefits never materialized because Pfizer never built the base.

While the immediate aftermath was tragic, the case sparked a huge backlash that brought much attention to the issue of eminent domain abuse. According to the Institute of Justice: 43 states passed constitutional amendments or statues that reformed eminent domain laws to better protect property rights, nine state high courts ruled against the use of eminent domain for economic development, and at least 44 projects—where eminent domain was to be used for private gain—have been defeated since the Kelo ruling.

Yet the fight is hardly over. Congressman John Sullivan of Oklahoma has introduced the Private Property Rights Protection and Government Accountability Act, which will help end eminent domain abuse. The legislation will limit federal funds for 10 years to any state that attempts to use eminent domain to gain tax revenue. The bill will also give property owners greater legal protection when arguing against the state in court.

The only good outcome of the Kelo case is that it greatly increased public awareness about eminent domain abuse. To continue the fight, and score a win for property rights protection, PRA encourages everyone to tell their Senators and Representatives to support Rep. Sullivan’s bill.

(To download a copy of PRA’s letter of support, click here.)

Tags: BIGSTORY HOT EmDom | Permalink | Comments

The best way to stop abuse of this ridiculous power is to disincentive it, so this looks to be a promising first step.
tax re4mer / June 24, 2010 24:31 am

Eminent domain, tughoh seemingly very important in discharge of state's duties, is a preposterous idea that destroys civil liberty and human dignity.Imposing buildings and swanky neighborhoods do not contribute to growth of human excellence or to the level of morals. Economics under any disguise is inimical to equity and state's obsession with it is relegation of justice to insignificance.India had the misfortune of having its Constitution maimed right in the beginning to incorporate eminent domain as Ninth Schedule. Consequently, in barely six decades creatures of the Ninth Schedule have robbed the Republic of truthfulness, honesty and conscientiousness as social virtues. We seem to have hit the dead end as the three organs of the state are powerless to undo the damage.The choice is simple, a people may either have great cities with breath taking skylines or be blessed with noble souls who redefine the grandeur of human spirit , giving mankind new role models. Eminent domain, sadly, does not promote eminence among ordinary folks and can not enrich the spirit of the eminent.
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Sure, revoking emiennt domain would protect your rights, but would it do for others? You know, those other people who inhabit the same sphere (slightly oblong, but lets not split hairs) on which you live? Lot's of factors can cause the resale value of private property to decrease. We try to protect against them with zoning laws, for example, but caveat emptor remains as the overriding standard for an investment.I still don't see how a road would get built without emiennt domain, unless we want to dog-leg around the country side every time we hit a plot of private property. I think the less than optimal sale price for the confiscated land nets a greater benefit for the society. I'm not saying the government should eat our children or something like that, but every once in a while the individual has to take a hit for society. The alternative seems to be the path to solipsism and narcissism.Would it make a difference if the government paid a fair or exceptionally good price (like 125% of last assessment) for the property?
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the government can take soomenes property for any nilly willy reason."First, Rodney did not discuss if there were legitimate reasons the government could take private property and what those reasons were. You present it as if this was the subject of discussion.Second, almost the whole of Rodney's speech was devoted to property rights and that they should be strengthened significantly. You don't even acknowledge that.Thirdly, at the end he acknowledged that there might be cases that sometimes national interest rise above the interest of property owners. That might be a point of difference between PC and ACT, but I doubt that. He did not specify those cases, probably the allocated length of the speech did not suffice to go into details here nor was it the subject proper of his address.And let me ask you: do the Libertarianz believe that property rights are sacrosanct under all circumstances? Even in cases of national defense or when the property rights of many others are threatened? Examples are imminent invasion, some property must be confiscated to build defenses, or bio security, i.e. the rabid defense in Australia, or spraying against the pepper moth.Do the Libertarianz believe that even if to save the property rights of thousands of others, one should never confiscate a single property?
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