For example, ‘Kelo’ is practically a swear word for us. Taking land for public use is bad enough, albeit explicitly permitted by the Constitution; taking land and giving it to a real estate developer is downright odious. It’s not the biggest conservative/libertarian issue out there, but it’s definitely one that most people involved in the VRWC have an opinion on.
I bring all of this up because Hot Air had Senator Marco Rubio over to do a guest column*:
Though it may not make headlines as often as other issues, the fundamental right to private property has been under assault for years through our government’s abuses of eminent domain. Eminent domain is the authority vested in government to force the sale of private property. While this authority can be a necessary evil in rare cases related to public development, such as the building of crucial infrastructure, its modern use far exceeds this limitation. Today, it is often wielded by crony capitalist politicians to benefit wealthy and powerful private developers.
Continue reading Quote of the Day, Actually, The VRWC Has An OPINION On Eminent Domain edition.
Some background here; there’s also an actual book on the subject called Little Pink House. Anyway, turns out that there was no need in this specific case to throw out residents from their houses; it was superfluous to requirements, apparently.
Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking
The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.
But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes’ seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London.
To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost. Five justices found this redevelopment met the constitutional hurdle of “public use.”
PS: I’d just like to note for the record that the dissenting judges on this one – the ones respectful of private property, in other words – were Judges O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, & Thomas.
Crossposted to RedState.
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.
I got the tip from fellow RedState gonzo blogger absentee that Susette Kelo’s house – the one that the Supreme Court ratified the City of New London;s taking away from her, in what was frankly not liberalism’s finest hour – still hadn’t been replaced by anything. If that post by This Woman’s Weblog is accurate, it sure looks like it:
As you know, Susette’s little pink house and the homes of her neighbors were seized through eminent domain in a landgrab sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court. New London promised to put a glitzy new private development project on the land, but now, nearly four years after the ruling and $78 million in taxpayer money spent, literally nothing has been built on the land; it remains vacant, the neighborhood bulldozed.
Continue reading Kelo’s Little Pink House is still a bulldozed lot.