Big Gov't Giveth and Big Gov't Taketh Away
"Last week, Washington Post columnist George Will penned a column 'Despotism in New London' (Sept. 19, 2004). In it, he described how Connecticut's Supreme Court, by a 4-to-3 ruling, allowed the New London Development Corp. to use laws of eminent domain to condemn much of the city's Fort Trumbull neighborhood, near a $270 million Pfizer research facility, and lease it to luxury hotel, condominium and office building developers. New London, Conn., is hard up for tax revenues, and if the property is taken away from middle-class homeowners and transferred to wealthy interests, it will yield the city more tax revenue.
The Fifth Amendment is very clear about takings. It says, in part, 'nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.' The key phrase is public use. Public use means uses such as roads, bridges, military installations and public buildings. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that the only requirement for the taking of private property is that there be some public benefit. With that kind of reasoning, no one's private property is safe because what's a public benefit is subject to wide interpretation. "
Errant Judges and corrupt courts have to be held accountable. Citizens must be diligent to make sure that our most basic rights are upheld. What they can't pass on the ballot, they can, they do and they will pass by judicial fiat.