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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

Eminent Domain Surge

The eminent domain numbers are way up. No, I'm not talking about a surge in popularity of this blog. I'm talking about post-Kelo uses of eminent domain to take property for private development. The Washington Times has the story here. Check out the numbers...
In the year since the Kelo decision, nearly 6,000 properties nationwide have been threatened or taken under that precedent, more than half the number that had been seized over a previous five-year period, said a report released yesterday by the Institute for Justice.
The Institute of Justice is the libertarian public interest law firm that fought on behalf of Suzette Kelo in her battle to keep her home. They rock.

Exactly what sort of property are municipal governments trying to take and give? Well, these properties...
"The vast majority ... involved the removal of lower-income residents and smaller businesses to attract wealthier people or more prominent businesses," Ms. Berliner wrote.
"Of the 117 projects, nearly half involved taking low-income houses, apartments and mobile home parks to construct upscale condominiums or other upscale residences and new retail development. Cities across America are working hard to drive out the working poor," she said.
She said the city of Baltimore is "on an eminent domain spree" because it intends to seize 75 properties for private development in this year alone
It should be noted that the Kelo backlash came from both property rights wackos (like me) but also from poor, inner city community leaders.

Kelo was not all bad news. It caused many legislatures to enact controls over how and when eminent domain can be used. Wisconsin was one of the states that did just that. It's nice to see that our state government can do something right for once.

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About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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