Saturday, February 19, 2005

Your backyard would make a great Wal-Mart

Bill Steigerwald talks to Scott Bullock, an Institute for Justice attorney who will be arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court against the abuse of eminent domain by the city of New London, Connecticut. That city wants to force owners to sell their property not for a public use, like a school or road, but for private development that the government believes will be more lucrative:

We have to prove that this is not "a public use." The Constitution says very clearly that private property shall "not be taken for public use without just compensation." The real question in this case is whether or not these takings are for a public use. The government's taking someone's property simply in the hope that the new owners will produce more tax revenue and that the city will gain from the trickle-down effects of private business development cannot be a public use. If it is, then there really are no limits on government's eminent domain power.


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