Thursday, June 23, 2005
Heartland Institute on Kelo Eminent Domain CaseThe Heartland Institute reacts to the Supreme Court decision in the Kelo case:
The U.S. Supreme Court has given a major victory to urban planners, large property owners, and government in the Kelo decision announced June 23. The major losers are those who treasure private property rights and the respect for those rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution and those with the least political power to protect themselves.The press release continues here, and I recommend all of it.
The decision says, in essence, that where a government has a "carefully considered development plan" which is intended to lead to economic development, enhancing the tax base and creating jobs, it has the right to use the condemnation power contained in the U.S. Constitution to seize the private land and transfer title of it to private developers as long as the government pays “just compensation” to those whose land is seized.
The 5-4 decision was written by Justice Stephens and joined by Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and Kennedy. Dissenting in strongly written dissenting opinions were Justices O'Connor and Thomas, whose opinions were joined by Justice Scalia and Chief Justice Rehnquist.
The case grew out of a plan by New London, Connecticut to develop its downtown with a Pfizer facility, a marina, a hotel and residential units and shops. In its way were working class middle class homes and homeowners, including some whose families had owned their individual properties for well over 100 years...
I can't help but re-read, though, that part of the Heartland institute release which read: "In [the government's] way were working class middle class homes and homeowners, including some whose families had owned their individual properties for well over 100 years..."
Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:15 PM