Monday, November 21, 2005

Neighborhood Affected by Kelo Decision Still Standing

(Login required to read the article; it's the New York Times, after all)

I have to say that this is a happy event, though it's a bitter happiness. The Supreme Court's decision that a city could use eminent domain to supplant private residential taxpayers with private commercial taxpayers (and hopefully in the city's case, bringing in more taxes) is ludicrous. The Times quotes retiring Associate Justice O'Connor's dissent:
"The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall or any farm with a factory."
I may not agree with all of Sandra Day O'Connor's decisions, but I would agree with this quote in her dissent. The sanctity of private property ownership is a bedrock of American culture. The idea that being able to own a free-standing house is dependent on judicial argument and not enshrined in law is disheartening to future property owners. Any further delay in the eminent domain process is another chance for the New London Development Corporation boardmembers to come to their collective senses. I hope they'll do that.

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