Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eminent Domain Decision Eminently Stupid

It's bad enough that 5 members of the Supreme Court could somehow be convinced that the "public use" requirement in the constitution's "eminent domain" authority meant that land could be condemned and given to a private developer; the "public use" would be the increased tax revenue, available to the public coffers.

It's bad enough they made a decision so atrocious. What's worse is what we now learn:

Pfizer, Inc., announced today that the company will be closing its former research and development headquarters in New London, Conn. This was a project that involved massive corporate welfare and led to the abuse of eminent domain that ultimately bulldozed the home of Susette Kelo and her neighbors in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London.

This was the same bogus development plan that five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court refused to question when the property owners of New London pleaded to have their homes spared from the wrecking ball. Justices mentioned that there was a plan in place, and that so long as lawmakers who are looking to use eminent domain for someone's private gain had a plan, the courts would wash their hands. Now, more than four years after the redevelopment scheme passed constitutional muster-allowing government to take land from one private owner only to hand that land over to another private party who happens to have more political influence-the plant that had been the magnet for the development is closing its doors and the very land where Susette Kelo's home once stood remains barren to all but feral cats, seagulls and weeds.

Here's more, from the Washington Examiner:

Susette Kelo's little, pink house in New London, Conn. -- like the houses of all her neighbors -- is now a pile of rubble, overgrown with weeds. But Pfizer, the company that called for the demolition in order to build a new research and development plant, announced Monday it is packing up and leaving town in order to cut costs after its merger with fellow drug-giant Wyeth.

New London now has a wasteland where a neighborhood once stood, and no jobs or business to show for it. It's another travesty of central planning.

Central planning. Those of you who look to government to fix all our problems, note: government can take away your house if you're not politically connected enough. Put another way, a government that can give you anything is strong enough to take away everything.

Remember that when you're contemplating putting government in charge of your health care.

Previous posts about Kelo here, here, and here, among others.


Judy Smith said...

I can't believe that we the consumer have less power than most government or even major cooperation's do over how we spend out money and what they can do to take our money it's just ridiculous and something should be done about the situation.

PeggyU said...

That is a tragedy, for people to lose their homes in that way. It would be easier to lose a home to a natural disaster, I think.

KauaiMark said...

I assume that the township gave the land parcels back to the original owners?

...Nah! didn't think so.

Ellen K said...

If you want to see the NFL version, read how the city of Arlington used immenent domain to provide parking spaces for Jerry Jones' Stadium. They didn't even have the second hand glory of being under the stadium. And to add insult to injury, landowners who have properties not purchased tried to use their land as off site parking, the city, who is making money off of parking, created zoning that prevented them using their land for this purpose.