Bloomberg.com: U.S. Government Power to Take Property Backed by Top Court
(Bloomberg) -- Local governments have broad power to take over private property to make way for shopping malls, office parks and sports stadiums, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.
The court said government agencies can constitutionally take property in the name of economic development -- and even transfer it to another private party -- as long as the landowners receive compensation. The 5-4 ruling today came in a case involving land near a Pfizer Inc. plant in New London, Connecticut.
Scott B, a friend of Pittsburgh, now working in DC, was quoted on the radio news today. He works with a nonprofit that fights against eminent domain.
I hate eminent domain. The excuse of economic development does not lessen this hate. Rather, this new court judgement makes policy makers more critical in the process. Overboard, power-hungry, do-good authoritarians are given more room to roam. Hence, eminent domain is sure to be more and more of an issue for many if not every election in the future.
I am one who says let the markets operate without heavy-handed governmental impacts. Buy the property. Do the development if you feel justified. But don't buy it with force.
Once property is able to be taken, then investors will slow their investments into property. Investments will go into other, more secure assets. Hence, the downward spiral of real property is sure to accelerate.