Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Evil Supreme Court Decision on Eminent Domain

Don Boudreaux writes:
In what is perhaps the worst U.S. Supreme Court decision in my lifetime (although here is one of a handful of competitors for that awful honor), the highest court in the land sunk to the low depths at which typical politicians slither.  The Court in Kelo did so by distorting the plain meaning of the U.S. Constitution into a grant of power to governments to seize private property whenever governments assert that they’re doing so for good reasons.
Also from Boudreaux:
On this tenth anniversary of Kelo v. City of New London – a detestable monument both to “Progressives'” contempt for the rights of ordinary people and to conservatives’ mindless habit of demanding judicial restraint – I offer here some links specially selected for this anniversary of that decision.
Ilya Somin, a brilliant GMU colleague over at the law school, penned in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal this excellent account of Kelo and its aftermath. (gated)  (See also here.  And here.)  A slice: 
Although Kelo was a painful defeat for advocates of property rights, it led to important progress. The ruling generated an enormous backlash: More than 80% of the public disapproved of the court’s decision. The opposition cut across racial, partisan and ideological lines. Kelo was denounced by such unlikely bedfellows as Ralph Nader, Rush Limbaugh and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People....

Richard Epstein writes today in National Review.  Here’s his opening paragraph:Ten years ago, on June 23, 2005, the United States Supreme Court dropped a judicial thunderbolt in Kelo v. City of New London. By a narrow five-to-four margin it rejected a spirited challenge that Susette Kelo and her neighboring landowners had raised against the ambitious land-use development plan put forward by the City of New London, Ct. The formulaic account of the holding is that a local government does not violate the “public use” component of the Constitution’s takings clause — “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” — when it condemns property that will be turned over to a private developer for private development. Under the logic of Justice John Paul Stevens, so long as there is an indirect promised public benefit from the development process, the public-use inquiry is at an end, and Ms. Kelo can be driven out of her pink house by the water.

The trailer from the just released movie:

-Robert Wenzel  

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