Eminent Domain Debate Brought Home To The Supreme Court

"Angered by a Supreme Court ruling that gave local governments more power to seize people's homes for economic development, a group of activists is trying to get one of the court's justices evicted from his own home." – APTo fully understand the impact of this recent Supreme Court ruling let's review: Eminent Domain is the government's ability to seize property at market value for "the public good". Now historically this has been used for things like roads. You would never be able to create in Interstate for everyone's use if a single home owner in the path of the new highway could say 'nah, I don't feel like selling'. This makes sense and seems reasonable to most people. What the Supreme Court ruled recently was this: tax revenues go to the public good (in theory)… so if a developer is going to build something worth more than your home, that would create higher property taxes for the government, which makes it 'ok' to take someone's home and give it to a developer so tax revenues can go up "for the public good".

The problem with this is that just about anyone's home could be developed into something more expenive and therefore create higher property tax revenues. Which means almost anyone's home can be seized by the government if someone wants to build something else there. I guess the Supreme Court missed those property rights in the 5th & 14th Ammendments of the Consitution… Now what these activists have done is taken the point home to the Justices that ruled for the governement and against the home owner. They have gotten on the ballot in David Souter's home town. The issue? Weither or not to seize his home to build a small hotel. This would meet all the necessary requirements to increase tax revenues and justify the use of Eminent Domain to seize his land. I personally think this is GREAT! I mean can he really complain? He was the one that created this new law (yeah Judges can do that these days – no legislative body required) by "finding" it in the Consitution. Will it pass? Probably not, but it would be hilarious if it did. That's the double edged sword of democracy: take away someone's rights and it can take away your own.