June 23, 2005

The World Conspires to Turn Me Into A Republican

Posted in General at 9:26 am by Ian

The party of Lincoln, that is.

Supreme Court Rules that cities can use eminent domain to take private property for use in private development. This is so fucking messed up I don’t know what to say.

But mostly I’m just pissed that I agree with Scalia and Rhenquist.



  1. Adam said,

    I was rather surprised and annoyed by that too (the agreeing with Scalia, Thomas, and Rhenquist that is).

  2. Dad said,

    “Though citizens are safe from the government in their homes, the homes themselves are not.”
    – Justice Clarence Thomas, in dissent

  3. Becca said,

    Though the agreeing part makes sense, in terms of the smaller-government thing.

  4. Victor said,

    My guess is that the court ruled in favor of New England simply because using eminent domain for private development has been the status quo for a while. It’s just that this is the first time it’s come up in the Supreme Court.
    That said, I think it’s time to take a closer look at how “public use” is defined.

  5. Ian said,

    I agree that it wasn’t particularly surprising given past precedents, but it was still very disturbing.

  6. Evan said,

    You own a run down old apartment building. I want to build a charter school on that property. I apply to the state for the right of eminent domain to be exercised. Good? or Bad?

  7. Ian said,


    If the state determines that we need a public school there (or a road, or a water processing plant, or whatever), and the owner is unwilling to sell for a reasonable amount, the state invokes eminent domain. It’s not a good thing, but is sometimes necessary.

    If a private enterprise can’t convince the owner of property to sell it, tough. They’ll have to find somewhere else to build.

    I wouldn’t necessarily disapprove of property taxation that makes it uneconomical to sit on a piece of property that’s not being put to any good use, though, unless that taxation was so extreme that the owner had no reasonable choice but to sell..

    This is assuming a charter school is a privately owned and run business. If it’s some weird sort of public/private mishmash, it becomes murkier, in my opinion.

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