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Old Posted Apr 15, 2007, 2:41 PM
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jimthemanincda jimthemanincda is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Posts: 524
The Kelo case is one of the most misunderstood cases in American jurisprudence. I would rank it up there with Roe v Wade. It's interesting that some of the most misunderstood cases are also some of the most controversial...

All personal thoughts on the issue aside, the Kelo ruling was a legally sound decision. That being said, I have no problem with individual states amending their constitutions to grant their own citizens more rights than are granted in the U.S. Constitution.

To clarify some points:

Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
Consider Wal-Mart using eminent domain to buy up your neighborhood to build a store.
This result would never happen. Purely private takings (when the benefit is realized by a private citizen) violate the public use requirement of the 5th Amendment. There must be a state actor involved.

Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
At the same time,I am for something like people being ousted should get the greater of at least 200% of fair market value or a minimum -- whichever is highest -- for the inconvenience of having to move or relocate to another area. Imagine, for instance, the impact it would have on a poor family with children who can't afford to move because the least expensive homes in the area are about to be bulldozed. If an affordable home price in their area is $200,000 then it might be only fair to make the floor $200,000 so that people can continue to send their children to the same school system.
Most courts have held the fair market value (FMV) of the condemned property to be the constitutionally required "just compensation." Just compensation is a judicial question, but can be determined in a trial by jury (some states don't use juries, such as Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island). Any takings compensation over FMV would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution or a state constituion authorizing compensation for takings over FMV.

Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
In conclusion, I believe that these sort of private emminent domain takings should be allowed if they are approved projects that will improve community character, but I think we need to consider the fact that a private taking isn't the same as taking land for a public park for public use -- and is about profit, and those inconvenienced should be compensated much more than fair market value for having to leave their property.
Again, private takings are unconstitutional. This case dealt with a taking by the New London Development Corporation (NLDC). The NLDC was a private entity (like Wal-Mart), but was authorized by the city council of New London to purchase Kelo's property by exercising eminent domain in the city's name (because the NLDC was under the control of a government entity this was not a private taking).

The case before the Supreme Court turned on whether "public purpose" satisfied the "public use" requirement of the 5th Amendment. In short, the majority of the court stated that the re-development plan in question served a public purpose, therefore it satisfied the public use requirement of the 5th Amendment (public use=public purpose). The majority argued that promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government while Justice O'Connor, in her dissent, argued that the line between private and public use of property had been blurred by the court and that the court significantly (and wrongly) expanded the meaning of public use.
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Last edited by jimthemanincda; Apr 15, 2007 at 6:16 PM.
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