Eminent Domain

If the Common Room scholars have not been following the New London Eminent Domain case now before the Supreme Court, they should be.

Please see:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/jeffjacoby/jj20050228.shtml

Note:
“When Bullock argues that New London wants to throw people out of their homes for the sake of ordinary economic development, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asks why that’s a problem. New London is depressed, she says; what’s wrong with trying to “build it up and get more jobs?” If the city could buy property on the open market and turn it over to a developer, wonders Justice David Souter, why can’t it use eminent domain to achieve the same end? Justice Stephen Breyer notes that there is bound to be some public benefit from almost any land taking. Isn’t that enough to satisfy the Constitution’s “public use” requirement?

It is a depressing colloquy for anyone who believes that property rights are fundamental to liberty.”

Indeed. Please read the rest, and weep and pray.

Updates: Source documents and historical background to property rights in this post
The ruling: here.
More reactions to the ruling: this post.

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