Supreme Court Makes Right Decision not to Hear Eminent Domain Case
by P.A. Madison on January 18th, 2007
The Supreme Court today announced that it would not consider an appeal over a Village of Port Chester, N.Y, in case involving all the hallmarks of extortion for money and property by a private developer and city.
The most shocking thing about this case is not the fact the US Supreme Court refused to intervene, but the fact local government has refused to protect property owners from shady city officials abusing their power over eminent domain. No one should ever be at risk losing property for the profit of third parties.
It’s difficult to make a Fourteenth Amendment issue out of Eminent Domain cases because its author, John Bingham, attempted to add the Fifth’s taking clause to the final version that is now part of the Constitution. It was also attempted early on to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment against counties and cities, only to be met with universal condemnation by those who had adopted the amendment, including John Bingham.
Because of this, it’s really up to local government to determine what constitutes “public works,” just as it was left to them to determine what constitutes unreasonable search and seizures – that is, until the federal judiciary took it upon themselves to become despotic. The security against such indefensible taking of property on behalf of third parties rests locally. If lawmakers refuse to protect property owners then they should be removed from office.