Few events in the last 25 years have prompted a national uproar over a specifically libertarian issue. Fewer still have produced as much outrage as the U.S. Supreme Courtâ€™s June ruling in Kelo v. City of New London. By a vote of 5 to 4, the Court declared that the Connecticut city and its quasi-governmental development corporation could take the well-maintained homes and businesses of people in the cityâ€™s Fort Trumbull neighborhood (including a grandmother who has lived in the same house since her birth in 1918) to make room for an expansion by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Since the decision, the city has given the owners a raspberry by charging them back rent on their own property.
...Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the D.C.-based Institute for Justice, represented the property owners in Kelo. Founded in 1991, the institute has successfully represented homeowners targeted for eminent domain condemnations in Arizona, Ohio, New Jersey, and other states, and is currently fighting property seizures around the country. Speaking with Web Editor Tim Cavanaugh about the Kelo decision and its explosive aftermath, Bullock remained defiant, and optimistic about the prospects for homeowners in New London and throughout the United States.