Supreme Court Ruling on Eminent Domain

Today, the Supreme Court ruled that governments can seize private property for private development. What the supreme court has effectively done is given the power to wealthy corporations and businesses to stomp all over individual families and competition. Let’s play a little exercise, shall we…

Let’s say you own a farm. It’s farmland that’s been in your family since the 1800s. Your great-great-grandfather worked this land, and everyone in your family has worked it since. At one time, it was way, way out from the city but in the years urban growth has sprawled out closer and closer to your land. Along with sprawl has come subdivisions and shopping centers. Now, Wal-Mart has seen fit to build a super-center in town, and has chosen your land.

Under this new ruling, Wal-Mart can tap-tap-tap on the shoulder of the city council and say, “Hey, we want that land over there, look at all the tax money we’re going to bring in” and the city council can kick you off your land using eminent domain provisions that were once reserved for building roads and schools, and give you whatever arbitrary amount they decide is “market value” for your property. Instead of forcing Wal-Mart to compete and pay true value for the land, they can now leverage the city government against you and get the land for fractions of what it is worth.

This is one of the worst rulings I’ve ever seen come out of the Supreme Court and a complete kick in the balls to individual liberty in this country.

Comments (0)

Interested in why you can't leave comments on my blog? Read the article about why comments are uniquely terrible and need to die. If you are still interested in commenting on this article, feel free to reach out to me directly and/or share it on social media.

Contact Me
Share It
Those of my longtime readers will know that I very rarely if ever mention anything on this blog other than my Randomness on tech. But today is a very different day and I feel compelled to write about this. So I’ll ask for a mulligan. And, as always, my views here do not represent anything or anyone other than me.
Read More
So today the Supreme Court ruled Aereo, the Internet TV streaming service, to be in violation of copyright law. And, at least to me, this was not unexpected.
Read More
This is just sort of a stream of consciousness, so apologies if it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I still remember the first time I realized I was directly talking with someone in another country. It was the mid 90s and I was a teenager, hooked on playing MUDs. When most people in my high school could barely turn a computer on, I felt like a wizard who knew about an entire secret world, and it was awesome. I was playing, every day, with people from Scotland, Denmark, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and so many others I can’t even remember now. And we talked. I learned so much about other cultures just by talking directly to people. And I remember thinking, in my own young, idealistic naivete, that if just everyone could be online, and could have these experiences, we might actually achieve world peace in my lifetime. We could see that we are all human bothers and sisters, separated only by artificially drawn borders. I believed free information will result in the most educated population in human history. And the Internet would bring the whole world a new age. I look back on myself then and mourn the world that we could have had. Humans apparently just aren’t ready for world peace and togetherness.
Read More