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June 23, 2005

More on Eminent Domain Decision

A lot of progressives are uncomfortable with today's decision on eminent domain, fearing it will lead to big property interests driving poor people out of their homes.

But that already happens, as the history of eminent domain shows. As the lawyer for the city in the case argued:

He says the Supreme Court ruling will be a boon to spurring economic development in cities around the country.

"Otherwise, all you can do is go into blighted areas, which means you are picking on the poor people, the minority people and this means that economic development can go where it is best to go...

Don't make a mistake here. If only homeowners with lawyers can stop economic development, all the crap will flow into the poorest communities with far fewer lawyers.

There's a reason that the homeowners in this case were represented by the rightwing Institute for Justice; this was a case about restricting decent government planning. Eminent domain will inevitably have sad stories of those displaced, but letting those who own property veto democratic community planning will not serve social justice.

Posted by Nathan at June 23, 2005 06:13 PM