23 June 2005

Eminent Domain

This Supreme Court ruling is appalling. It allows municipalities to seize private property for commercial ventures. Say you've found the house of your dreams; you plan to live there for the rest of your life; if the city decides your neighborhood would be better as a shopping mall, they can seize your land.

I want to own a home someday, but now even if it was all paid off, there's no guarantee I would get to stay. That feels like one deep stab to the American Dream. Usually such a concept is not something I would give much weight, but owning your own home- the best investment you can ever make- is such a fundamental piece of that dream.

It gives developers an unfair advantage as the taxes their projects will generate will far outweigh what comes in from a working class neighborhood. Sure it's easy to argue it's better economically for the city as a whole, but that doesn't make it right to seize people's homes.

The LA Times article describes this decision in better detail.

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