Bar Brawl Breaks Out Over Kelo v. City of New London

A brawl began after a disagreement over the nuances of the Supreme Court case that protected the power of the government to use eminent domain to transfer ownership of private property for the purposes of economic development.
April 1, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Everett Collection

A fight at a local bar began over the weekend, eventually spilling out on to the street and broken up by the police, after several unidentified patrons began arguing loudly on the subject of eminent domain and the extent to which state law could control the taking of land under eminent domain relative the ruling of the Supreme Court in the landmark 2005 Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London.

“Actually, there were no nuances to the disagreement,” said one of the participants in the brawl who asked to remain anonymous. “One guy said he wanted to learn more about eminent domain, so his buddy starts talking about the ‘intellectual problem of personal liberty versus the public good’ or some babble like that.”

“Then they started calling each other 'wonk' and 'nerd' or something like that. Next thing you know they’re using broken bottles as homemade shivs and swinging pool cues like they were lightsabers.”

Another anonymous patron confirmed that one of the fight’s participants quickly regretted asking about eminent domain after his friend launched into the diatribe about Kelo v. City of New London.

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Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 in Planetizen April 1st Edition
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