Eminent Domain Uses Questioned

Across the nation, there is growing resistence to eminment domain.
April 3, 2004, 1pm PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"The use of eminent domain is meeting growing resistance in courts, legislatures and neighborhoods from Connecticut to Ohio and Colorado. The criticism targets local governments' efforts to spur economic growth by transferring land from homeowners and shopkeepers to developers or corporations," USA TODAY reports. "Local governments are using eminent domain to acquire land for Wal-Mart, Target and other retailers that need big sites for stores. Land also is being taken for manufacturing plants, hotels, condominiums and parking lots." The use of eminent domain is a despotic power, even when just compensation is paid. Eminent domain should be used sparingly and only for a truly public use -- broadly enjoyed by all, rather than by some narrow part of the public. For the federal government it means for a constitutionally authorized use. More precisely, it means for a use that is owned and controlled by the public. Condemnation, after all, transfers title -- either in part, for a regulatory taking, or in whole, for a full taking. If the condemnation transfers title from one private party to another, it is simply illegitimate.

Thanks to Bryan Conn

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Published on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 in USA Today
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