Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kelo looming

Tomorrow, we will discuss the recent decision rendered in Kelo v. the City of New London, where the Court ruled that it was proper for the city to take private land for development purposes, and where some of that land would be resold to private corporations.

In Kelo, there was a massive redevelopment program proposed to renovate the city, which had fallen on hard times. The naval station had closed; the city's unemployment rate was double that of the state, and much of the land was in disrepair. On one of the parcels situated for the redevelopment project were 9 families who owned 13 lots. They sued against the taking on the ground that the land was being taken for private use, not public.

I'm having a hard time coming to a personal conclusion on the issue. On the one hand, I can see how a major redevelopment program that can revitalize an entire city and bring in new jobs to an area that has been suffering from a glut of jobs and in a state with limited land area available is an important thing and brings good to the mass of people. On the other hand, this is personal property. I'm very big on the concept of personal property and the right to own that property freely without fear of taking from the government, or anyone else. I don't know. What do you think?


Thomas said...

You should say you respect your own personal property. And that is it.

JMJanssen said...

What I don't understand is why the city couldn't force the owners of the property to sell the land directly to the companies.

That said, things are the way they are, and I don't think it's a bad thing for the law to tip in favor of the greater (potential) good.

Michelle said...

I'm for the re development. Never studied this matter before, i'm interested in the time frame it was set.

Matthew said...

I would have liked to have attended that discussion. I find that I get more out of a book or a case when I read and discuss it in a classroom setting. Am I a lesser person for that?