Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Is Imminent Domain Constitutional in the taking property from individual citizens and give it to Developers?

If developers are acting as ex facto government when did anyone elect them? Are developers government or privately owned companies? That is the question, before the Supreme Court. Why do you think Congress and Senate have done nothing?

Quote ..."A government is Big enough to give you everything you a government Big enough to take from you everything you have." Gerald R. Ford...

Are judges wrong in favoring developers? The Constitution of the United States guarantees individuals to own and have property.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is not Constitutional...but the Supreme Court (mistakenly) believes otherwise.

    The Fifth Amendment reads, in part, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." This clause makes a clear distinction between PRIVATE property and PUBLIC use. To me, this strongly suggests that taking private property for a mixed private-public purpose was not what the Founders had in mind.

    The meaning of a "public use" is given further context from Article I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution, which outlines the powers of Congress. It reads that Congress shall have " Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings." This suggests that government takings were meant to be used for government purposes, not some amorphous concept of "public benefit."

    Why hasn't Congress done much? Because ultimately, American party politics is made at the local level. Local governments love eminent domain abuse...not only does it give them power, it makes for an easy source of revenue. Any Congressman who tried to challenge eminent domain abuse would risk losing valuable grassroots support in his district.

    I also think part of the reason that this issue has been overlooked is because Americans have been conditioned to view "property rights" as something archaic and somewhat elitist, and government action for "public benefit" as always benign and necessary.

    Any judge who takes land from one private individual to give to another private individual, under the guise of increasing local taxes or "aesthetic improvement" is clearly wrong.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The SC exercised judicial restraint in the Kelo decision. The Court upheld the actions which had been authorized by legislation passed by a democratically elected body. You can complain if you want to about the SC exercising TOO MUCH restraint -- you can say that the SC failed to uphold the Constitutional rights of property owners. A whole lot of people are saying that. Join the chorus.

    But to exercise judicial restraint means that the SC did not play the trump card. As Robert Bork has said, constitutional law is the trump card of American politics. Once the Constitution has been invoked to prohibit legislatures (or voters) from doing certain things, then the legislatures (and voters) have become dis-empowered. The opposite course of action -- restraint -- allows the voters and the legislatures to change their course of action. And it appears that they are doing just that.

    Do I support eminent domain? Of course I do. The government can seize property so long as they provide the property owner with "just compensation." The issue in Kelo was not whether or not the property owners had been justly compensated. The question was who gets to seize property/provide compensation. Was the SC right in Kelo? Maybe, maybe not. But the issues in Kelo are still in the hands of the voters and legislatures.

    Recognize the political opportunities that are still available. Don't ask the SC to be a solver of all problems. Thomas Jefferson urged people to not rely on the judicial branch to solve all problems.

    "There is not, under our Constitution, a judicial remedy for every political mischief. In a democratic society like ours, relief must come through an aroused popular conscience that sears the conscience of the people's representatives." -- Justice Frankfurter, dissenting opinion in Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 270 (1962).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Eminent domain abuse is happening all around the country. The supreme court got it wrong in the Kelo case and as a result most states are passing legislation limiting the use of eminent domain for what the founding fathers meant it to be. And as for you big government types who think it's OK, I sincerely hope you get your property taken because someone wants to put a convenience store there. Then you'll see the light.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Eminent domain. And it's good because many times, private corporations that specialize in development are better skilled at finding better use for land compared to government entities. Why should a good idea that stimulates real estate value appreciation, rejuvenates blighted areas and increases tax revenue for the municipality be shot down just because some profit will go to a corporation?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Imminent Domain allows a local authority to take property for the public good. They can turn that over to a developer if that is 'the public good'.

    There are moves in Congress to limit the use of Imminent Domain, because the power has clearly been abused.

  • 1 decade ago

    Is it leagal yes, is it right, no. Property prices are too high as it is and now you have bought you home free and clear they can come in and take it away because they just want it. What ever happened to our country. Everyone needs to stand up and fight the government by getting someone in there that will work for the people and does not want to be there to just stuff their pockets. We have the voice to elect who we want and we need to make a change. For the People, By the People. Let's get back to the real government.

  • 1 decade ago

    The court has already ruled on this, in favor of the local govt using eminent domain.

    It should be a huge issue in the new congress. It will be interesting to see who gets behind property owners, and who supports developers.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think the Supreme Court has already decided this is Constitutional when it benefits the community.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is especially true in my state, Hawaii.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hell, no.

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