Thursday, June 23, 2005

Shhh... Nobody tell the BOMA...

CNN reports:

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.

Now, the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that governments can take private property via eminent domain for "public use." Is private economic development really "public use?" Justice John Paul Stevens thinks so:

The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including -- but by no means limited to -- new jobs and increased tax revenue.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor disagrees:

Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.

So... by a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has decided that my home can be taken by the city so that a developer can build a a Kwik-e-Mart and the city can gain some additional tax revenue. I can only imagine what the Franklin BOMA will do with this one...


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