Thursday, March 23, 2006

Riding to the defense of eminent domain

    While advocates of private property rights howled in response to the Supreme Court’s 2005 eminent domain decision in Kelo v. City of New London, many supporters of government were left mumbling lamely about “deference” in trying to defend the decision. It seemed difficult to justify “the government’s right to take your house and give it to Wal-Mart,” as some news reports in effect in summarized the state of the law.

   A new pamphlet of essays published by the Vermont Law School’s Land Use Institute comes to the rescue of some of the leading arguments in favor of giving government a broad power to use eminent domain. Particularly provocative is the essay of Vermont’s Marc B. Mihaly, who asserts that both the majority and minority in Kelo failed to understand the new and beneficial conception of the public-private relationship in economic redevelopment of cities.

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