Friday, May 14, 2010

Kagan replaces justice (Stevens) who was lax on eminent domain

The Washington Times ran an op-ed by James W. Ely, Jr. on May 13 on the too often overlooked subject of eminent domain and its abuse. The link is here.

On September 8, 2009 I had reviewed the book by Carla Main “Bulldozed: “Kelo”, Eminent Domain, and the American Lust for Land”, which itself became the subject of defamation litigation. The book had related a notorious (Hitchcock’s title, please) case in Freeport, TX to a case in Connecticut, Kelo v. City of New London (2005). The editorial discusses Justice John Paul Stevens writing on the case, and his apparently na├»ve faith in developers and disregard of the property rights of ordinary homeowners.

Ely (perhaps writing his own “Book of Ely” – sorry, that’s Eli) notes that Elena Kagan’s record (outside of gays in the military and the Solomon Amendment) gives little indication as to how she would rule on a case like this. Hopefully her sensitivity to the rights of college students and freedom from discrimination parallels a respect for individual property rights. I wrote my own book on that idea back in the 1990s, but it isn’t easy to make it catch on.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of New London waterfront district (CCSASA).  

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