The Supreme Court today ruled that encouraging economic development by seizing one private individual’s property and handing it over to a second private individual was a Constitutionally valid interpretation of the 5th Amendment’s takings clause.
Traditionally, eminent domain meant exclusively the taking of private land for uses that were explicitly public, such as creation of roads, parks, military bases, etc. The seized land became public property. As of today, you only own your home until the State determines that somebody else could put it to better economic use. At any time, based on some consultant’s economic analysis, the State can force you to sell your property to another private individual at a price the State sets.
This ruling will open up the flood gates for the raping of the property rights of the little people. Large politically connected developers will be able to get the government to seize properties they desire, for bargain basement prices. Politicians eager for campaign donations and tax revenues will gladly cooperate. Heck, developers will be able to use just the threat of seizure by eminent domain to drive down prices.
Screw flag burning. The Congress needs to offer an amendment to return eminent domain to its original meaning. Our system of land property is the foundation of our economic system. Without secure property rights the economy will collapse. I can say without any hyperbole that this one ruling has the potential to do more long-term damage than any other Supreme Court ruling of the last 100 years. It will destroy property rights, corrupt government and lead to the politicization of virtually every real-estate development.
I’m writing my state and federal representatives and I encourage you to do the same.