Supreme Court Nominee's Eminent Domain Experience

Back in 2006, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor had a role in a controversial eminent domain ruling. <em>Reason</em> magazine takes a look at the decision and what it might mean for property rights if she's confirmed to the Court.
July 3, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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Similar in nature to the widely-followed 2005 Kelo v. New London decision, Sotomayor's vote in this 2006 case allowed a city to use eminent domain against a landowner standing in the way of a new development.

"The controversy centers on Sotomayor's vote in a 2006 eminent domain case, Didden v. Village of Port Chester. New York entrepreneur Bart Didden says Port Chester condemned his land after he refused to pay $800,000 (or grant a 50 percent stake in his business) to a developer hired by the village. One day after Didden refused to pay those bribes, Port Chester began eminent domain proceedings against him.

As University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein put it, 'The case involved about as naked an abuse of government power as could be imagined.' But that didn't stop Judge Sotomayor and two of her colleagues on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals from upholding the district court decision that ruled in favor of the village."

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Published on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 in Reason
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