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High Court OK's personal property seizures/Another reason it's GOOD to live somewhere beside the US [Jun. 26th, 2005|08:29 pm]
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.

It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights.

The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes to generate tax revenue.

Local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community, justices said.

"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 John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority.

He was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

At issue was the scope of the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property through eminent domain if the land is for "public use."

Susette Kelo and several other homeowners in a working-class neighborhood in New London, Connecticut, filed suit after city officials announced plans to raze their homes for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices.

New London officials countered that the private development plans served a public purpose of boosting economic growth that outweighed the homeowners' property rights, even if the area wasn't blighted.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a key swing vote on many cases before the court, issued a stinging dissent. She argued that cities should not have unlimited authority to uproot families, even if they are provided compensation, simply to accommodate wealthy developers.

The lower courts had been divided on the issue, with many allowing a taking only if it eliminates blight.

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

She was joined in her opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/23/scotus.property.ap/index.html
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: theslaughtered
2005-06-26 08:55 pm (UTC)
I just heard about that on PBS last night. Sad that they kick people out of their homes. But I do understand it can be benifical to the city's economic development, but unneccesary when there are plenty of other sites to build upon.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-06-27 09:04 pm (UTC)
It's unnecessariy regardless of how many other sites are available. You can't just tear down a families home and kick them out because they live in a "prime location". That's ridiculous.
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[User Picture]From: theslaughtered
2005-06-27 09:12 pm (UTC)
Well if a town or city is dying economically and it relies on making money from new residents or commercial sale, then I believe it is justified, as it does serve for the greater public good. As it was intended to be in the bill of rights.
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[User Picture]From: theslaughtered
2005-06-28 02:49 am (UTC)
Who knew we were in a communist country? We live in a represenative democracy with a communist rule. Fun times!
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-06-28 01:08 am (UTC)
Are you kidding? That doesn't make ANY sense. It isn't justified to just take a families HOME!

I wonder if you'd feel like that it if was your home?

And hey, are you a Republican or a Communist? I didn't know there was such a close line between the two..
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[User Picture]From: theslaughtered
2005-06-28 02:22 am (UTC)
It isn't justified to simply take a home, you must show just cause, and economic survival of a city is just cause.

I would get as much money as I could and move out. They offer these people more then their praised value. It's a deal.

That law was drafted up by the democrats. I am a democrat.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-06-28 09:52 pm (UTC)
My Grandma (granted this was a long time ago) had an 8 unit apartment building in a rather large city, and evne though it was probably worth $75,000 at the time, she only received $12,000 for it because it was in the "greater good" for the extremely wealthy community to fuck her over, and take a building that would have brought her a great deal of financial income, along with my family throughout the years.
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[User Picture]From: theslaughtered
2005-06-30 02:01 am (UTC)
There is a law protecting that situation from happening. The government must pay at least the appraised value. Court rulings made it possible for the appraisal to be handled by a mutual indipendent realtor. Since you said it happened a long time ago the laws probably were not in effect. And if the feds were pushing something like that against me I would have attourneys on their ass sooner then you could say 'illegal activites'.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-06-30 11:04 am (UTC)
Well that's good that they're deciding to protect people now, because it's a pretty situation when that doesn't happen.
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