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November 11, 2009

SCOTUS' Chickens Come Home To Roost In New London

Originally blogged here back in the good ol' days.

A few years ago, the Supreme Court scared the wits out of property owners all over the country.

The aftermath of Kelo is the latest example of the futility of using eminent domain as corporate welfare. While Ms. Kelo and her neighbors lost their homes, the city and the state spent some $78 million to bulldoze private property for high-end condos and other "desirable" elements. Instead, the wrecked and condemned neighborhood still stands vacant, without any of the touted tax benefits or job creation.

That's especially galling because the five Supreme Court Justices cited the development plan as a major factor in rationalizing their Kelo decision.

This cannot be emphasized enough.

The people who run your city, the politicians who are full of bright ideas for improving your life by infringing on others' rights, and the black-robed genius who is tasked with interpreting our founding documents; NONE of these people are smarter than you.

NONE of these people are gifted with superior insight on how better to run your life or use our native resources. But they believe that they are. So without the brake of morality or explicit law, these geniuses and pols and town busybodies will extend professional courtesy to each other as they go about dismantling your life for some dubious utopian idea.

According to the Institute for Justice, which represented Susette Kelo, 43 states have since passed laws that place limits and safeguards on eminent domain, giving property owners greater security in their homes. State courts have also held local development projects to a higher standard than what prevailed against the condemned neighborhood in New London.

A number of Connecticut municipalities also went about passing resolutions against this kind of predatory behavior, buttressing the rights of property owners. I'm proud to say my town was one of them.

If your state or municipality hasn't addressed this issue, assume nothing. Please use the Kelo example as a reason to become involved in local politics and make absolutely sure this can't happen to you or your neighbors.


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posted by LauraW. at 10:00 AM

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