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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Dark Shadow of Kelo

With June 23 marking the three-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Kelo v. City of New London, government’s violations of private property rights persist.

I laid out some recent examples in the June 19 SBE Council Fact of the Week. But there, unfortunately, are more.

In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court marked this third anniversary by announcing that it would not hear a case brought by property owners in Brooklyn, New York. Developer Bruce Ratner has a $4-billion plan called Atlantic Yards that features residential and office space, as well as a new arena for the NBA’s Nets. Property owners challenged the state’s use of eminent domain for the project, arguing that this was a private use rather than a “public use,” as the U.S. Constitution requires.

Of course, the property owners bringing this case are absolutely correct. It is just another case of government taking property from private owners and handing it over to another private individual who has a plan more to the liking of politicians. But the Supreme Court continues to ignore what the Constitution actually says, and instead provides a green light to government eminent domain abuse.

Will Congress ever step up to fix this immoral attack on property owners, namely, homeowners and small business owners?

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