June 25, 2005

Not good

The Supremes rule that cities can seize private property, even to simply give it to another private interest.

As demonstrated on an excellent piece on "NOW", this is a truly bad ruling. The show examined the case of several homeowners in a town in New Jersey who had worked their entire lives to buy their small homes. Now the city is simply going to take their property, not for a road or school or park, but to give it to a high-powered developer who will replace the established neighborhood with high-priced condos.

The standard for condemnation is that the properties condemned must be classified as "blighted". Yet these homes are neat and well maintained. The only things cited to justify it as blighted were that there were a few weeds spotted in a couple yards. (Visit the NOW website for more on this alarming story.)

Just what the elite need, yet another tool to take from the middle class and convert other people's assets into their own, now with the force of law. They really need the help.

The NYT has the story.


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