[URBANTH-L]Supreme Court Affirms Property Seizures (Replies)

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Sun Jun 26 01:22:59 EDT 2005

[The following replies respond to the recently posted Washington Post
article on the U.S. Supreme Court's eminent domain ruling - AJ]

From: Deb Woodell <bozorth25 at hotmail.com>

>The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that local governments may force property
>owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when
>officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not
>blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed.
My corner of the world in southern New Jersey is filled with loads of empty
"private economic development" fixtures that local politicians once thought
would "benefit the public."

Deb Woodell
Berlin, NJ


From: David Levinger <david at feetfirst.info>

Don't be fooled by the media coverage surrounding the definition of eminent
domain.  The media has latched on a couple of sensational points in this
ruling that distort the social justice implications of the ruling.  Note
that the four justices who dissented were the conservative ones.  This case
is also about the ability of government policy to consider the collective
interests above individual interests.  In the U.S., property rights
advocates have done incredible damage... to environment, to our ability to
complete public trail projects, and most recently to growth management
efforts in Oregon where the government is now forced to compensate
land-owners for changes to land-use codes that alter the developable value
of their property.

So please consider whether this ruling is truly about supporting corporate
interests over private interests.  Is it about government ignoring the
desires of communities?  Or might it be about the ability to pursue
improvements to our communities?

Perhaps economic vitality of cities is something that we should be excited
about, so those same cities can provide social services and
programs.  Here's the local coverage of the ruling:


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