Posted by on March 23, 2017 2:00 pm
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PRIVATE PROPERTY is TAKEN for PUBLIC USE without JUST COMPENSATION

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PRIVATE PROPERTY is TAKEN for PUBLIC USE without JUST COMPENSATION

Eminent domain is the power of the Government to expropriate private property for public use. Government facilities, public utilities, highways, and railroads have been the traditional objects of this power. It is considered an inherent attribute of sovereignty. This power belongs exclusively to the legislative branch.
The natural right to property that underlies English common law. Yet the Founders agreed that the establishment of a Federal Government conveys with it the power of eminent domain. By the 1920’s, courts began to focus on the value of the property, rather than common-law limitations on Government use of property. By the late 20th century, local autocrats attempted to extort property owners under the Takings Clause. Ploys to letting them expand their homes, only if they provided a beach easement to the public, or enlarge their store, only if they set aside property for a bike path, were beaten back in the courts.
Then the statists figured out how to use regulatory agency powers of administrative rule making and adjudication to strip property owners of their rights. Prolonged and expensive processes, combined with the “ripeness doctrine”, have meant litigation is available only to the wealth landowners. When courts do get involved, they seem increasingly unable to decide how economic injuries caused by public action should be compensated by the Government. Most property owners now lose their claims for compensation.
America slipped down slope to complete injustice in 2005 in Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London. No founder would have envisioned the taking of private property for the benefit of another private party, under any definition of public use. Like feudalistic lords, the City of New London seized non-blighted private property by eminent domain, and transferred it for a dollar a year to a private developer solely for the purpose of increasing municipal revenues. The redevelopment proved a failure. Nearby corporations that were supposed to have benefited closed their facilities and left New London. In seven short years, $80 million in public funds were squandered and nothing was built on the land rightfully owned by Susette Kelo and her fellow plaintiffs.
The power of eminent domain was a logical addition to the Fifth Amendment in an age where land was plentiful and men were honorable. Neither are as true today. Beware of further attempts by tyrants, be they petty homeowner associations or politically connected tycoons of the commercial real estate industry, to scheme with Government and lift the Takings Clause to abhorrently new heights.
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Our Founding Generation
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