ABA Journal Article on the Kelo Backlash:

The ABA Journal has an interesting and generally well-written article on the political backlash sparked by Kelo v. City of New London, the controversial Supreme Court decision that ruled that government can forcibly transfer property from one private individual to another to promote "economic development." As journalist Steven Seidenberg, author of the new article, points out, Kelo led to an unprecedentedly broad political reaction, with 43 states and the federal government passing new legislation limiting eminent domain. However, the majority of these new laws are likely to be ineffective, a point I documented in great detail my forthcoming Minnesota Law Review article on the Kelo backlash.

I have a few minor quibbles with Seidenberg's account. For example, he describes California's Proposition 99 as a measure that prevents "government entities in the state from taking a single-family residence and then transferring it to another private owner." In reality, as I explained in this LA Times article, Prop 99 doesn't provide any meaningful protection for property rights of any kind, and was probably deliberately drafted that way by the California League of Cities, a organization of local governments that seeks to preserve broad eminent domain power.

Overall, however, Seidenberg's piece is one of the best media summaries of post-Kelo eminent domain reform that I have seen. And I don't say that just because he quoted me several times; he also cites other experts who have different views on recent developments in eminent domain law.

This issue is like many of those discussed on this site, just part of a tree in a very large forest.

This one reflects the inexorable, apparently inescapable leftward drift of the government toward collectivism that has been going on for many decades. Individualism is no longer celebrated, it's hardly even tolerated anymore. What is good for the "village" is all that matters now.

Property rights? Those are just so last century.

It even has a strong whiff of fascism (which is a leftwing ideology, despite rumors to the contrary), whereby government can by fiat decide which elements of private enterprise are favored and which are not, taking the property of one and giving it to another (who are just coincidentally all hefty campaign contributors with more political connections than the losers.)

Given the decision, it would have been a no-brainer to guess which justices voted which way, too.
4.9.2009 9:55am
Sarcastro (www):
I would also like to change the subject and call liberals Fascists.
4.9.2009 10:50am
Hey, Sir Castro, for once I agree with you.
4.9.2009 10:52am

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.