My op ed on condemnation of "blighted" property was published today by the Legal Times, and can be read here.
In the wake of Kelo v. City of New London, there has been a major backlash against condemnations of private property for "economic development," but not enough attention has been paid to the even greater harm caused by condemnation of supposedly "blighted" property. A brief excerpt:
...[E]ven many critics of Kelo ignore the danger posed by blight condemnations. In her scathing Kelo dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor emphasized that she believes that such takings are constitutional. None of the 11 state supreme courts that banned Kelo-style economic-development takings have imposed parallel restrictions on blight takings. And only a handful of the states that have enacted post-Kelo reform laws restrict blight condemnations in any meaningful way. Unfortunately, blight condemnations have most of the same shortcomings as takings for economic development: They transfer property to private parties, often fail to help their supposed beneficiaries, and are vulnerable to exploitation by powerful interest groups. Moreover, a ban on economic-development takings is unlikely to be effective without parallel restrictions on blight condemnations. Effective reform efforts must address the two major flaws of current blight takings: overexpansive definitions of blight and abusive takings in truly blighted areas.
Related Posts (on one page):
- Blight, Sweet Blight - The Problem of Blight Condemnation After Kelo:
- The Ohio Supreme Court's decision in Norwood v. Horney - A Major Victory for Property Rights:
- Ohio Supremes Limit Eminent Domain: