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Eminent domain

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by The Gr8est, May 13, 2006.

  1. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est Rookie

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    This is not currently a front page issue, but I wasn't reading the political discussions section of this site at the time.

    Last year when the supreme court ruled that the state of Connecticut could legally take people's private property and give it another private citizen I was as outraged as I have ever been by anything. The liberal wing of the supreme court supported this decision while it was Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, and O'Connor who opposed it.

    I am wondering if the posters here tended to support or decry this decision along party lines or if even the liberals were as outraged as I was (and still am).
    Last edited: May 13, 2006
  2. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think the vast majority of posters, liberal or conservative, were against the ruling. I was not against it, believing the issue belongs with the state. There may be times when the state has a legitimate interest, such as if one person occupies land that would otherwise be used to create hundreds of jobs, a hospital, or a college. I think the each state needs some sort of rigid vetting process, and people should be compensated fairly or better. Obviously, the Connecticut legislature needs to pass a more rigorous process than the one used in New London.

    The specific instance brought before the Supreme Court was outrageous, and the victims should not have lost their land by eminent domain. But, of course, the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the issue, not the rightness or wrongness of the specific case.
  3. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    BS, Patters (IMO).

    The Supreme Court took extreme liberties with the term "public use" to spin it into something more like "public interest" so it fit into the social engineering desires of government. They were dead wrong on this case and would be on cases like those you discribe.

    This is an issue of the US Constitution. States rights have no bearing on this matter any more than they do on civil rights, trade and commerce, or the bill or rights. Those functions would be acceptable for use of eminent domain only if they were publicly owned operations. Private companies should never be the recipients of profits from eminent domain takings - ever - period.
  4. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You can't think of any case where eminent domain can be used for private interest? I think as taxes get cut the case gets stronger, since localities are more dependent on private enterprise than before. I could be convinced that in such cases the compensation needs to be steep, e.g., 3x the market value of a home.
  5. Chevy

    Chevy Rookie

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    Although I am dead against eminent domain for the benefit of private enterprise, if it it to become the norm I'd take it a step further - 3x current property value plus .5% of gross income of the new enterprise, for life. If the new enterprise sells out, the .5% is assessed on the new business that takes over. Once the original landowner has died, the penalty ceases.
  6. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Do they dare take a poor old "minority persons" home and property?

    Someone on here should know.
  7. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Why are tax cuts connected to the validity of private eminent domain? 3X the market value is arbitrary and cynical. What if the owner doesn't want to sell for even 10x the market value? Why is 3x any more fair than 2.95x or 1.05x?
    I'm opposed to all eminent domain for private interest in all cases. It is a door I want shut and kept shut. Why is this Constitutional protection less important to you than others? If a municipality were to benefit by raising revenues at the expense of a single property owner, isn't that the same as the rights of a single person, say a black man in an all white county, being violated? The property owner in that case is a minority being trod on by the majority, the rest of the town.
  8. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't want to preclude the possibility that there could be a legitimate use of eminent domain for a private enterprise. I think in a depressed area that one person should not be able to block thousands of jobs, a new hospital, a new college, and so on. The reasons for using eminent domain for such purposes need to be extremely strong, but if they are, then we have to consider the public good. Just as eminent domain is reasonably used to support interstate commerce, build airports, build schools, there are rare cases where it makes sense to use it for a private enterprise. Sure, it sucks for the victims, but so does any kind of eminent domain. Also, there need to be strong protections in place for every kind of eminent domain.

    The analogy of a property owner to a minority is not fair unless you can think of a legitimate reason to discriminate. The only legitimate reasons I could think of was if a minority group contracted a highly infectious illness, it might be necessary to discriminate.
  9. Chevy

    Chevy Rookie

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    It think that if the land owner is making positive use of the the property (not a slum lord, warehouses that are in use, etc.), then there should be no right of emminent domain. If it's blighted, or unused (like many area of New Orleans), then by all means do something with the real estate. This should apply to church owned property as well.

    Unless it's a highway, there's really no case for a specific plot to be seized for private enterprise. A hotel could be built down the street, a hospital or campus in the next town. There are always options before violating the owner's rights.

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