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What do we ant? PROPERTY RIGHTS! When do we want them? NOW!
September 14, 2005 1:04 PM   Subscribe

New London Development Corporation Breaks Eminent Domain Moratorium Pledge, Starts Charging Rent. Previously discussed here and here, the Kelo case has just gotten more outrageous. Breaking its word and defying both Governor M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut legislature, the New London Development Corporation (NLDC) has apparently now decided not to abide by a moratorium called for by both the governor and legislature.
posted by ZenMasterThis (35 comments total)

 
“The NLDC’s actions are breathtaking in their arrogance and defiance of the wishes of Governor Rell and Connecticut’s legislature...”

If there is a Hell, surely they will burn in it. Feel free to contact these evil bastards.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:07 PM on September 14, 2005


I don't feel like waiting to see them in some hell; can we just burn them now?

What I ant, indeed!
posted by Floach at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2005


If it's not big issue for the city to steal land from the individual, it should logically be as easy for the state to step in and take that same land from the city, no?
posted by clevershark at 1:09 PM on September 14, 2005


clevershark, you just might be on to something, actually!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:11 PM on September 14, 2005


"...When a long train of abuses and usurpations... evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
posted by keswick at 1:12 PM on September 14, 2005


it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government

I agree. Overthrow the New London council!
posted by loquax at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2005


I wonder if they'll use this in New Orleans for the idealized Republican stronghold they want to set up?
posted by destro at 1:27 PM on September 14, 2005


I doubt this is going to go through, actualy. There's far to much focus on it, and the state government probably won't allow it. All they have to do is cut out that part from the city (alow it to become a small town on it's own, or something).

That said, there are going to be a lot of other cases that will slipt through the national cracks.
posted by delmoi at 1:27 PM on September 14, 2005


Before anyone gets carried away, remember which justices voted which way in Kelo v. New London.
posted by loquax at 1:29 PM on September 14, 2005


Before anyone gets carried away, remember which justices voted which way in Kelo v. New London.
posted by loquax at 1:29 PM PST on September 14


Thanks for the reminder, loquax, but even if God himself approved of the Court's decision in Kelo, I wouldn't change my mind.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:33 PM on September 14, 2005


I agree Optimus, I'm absolutely opposed to the decision, and I posted about it on Mefi. I was referring to the comment about Republicans using the decision to do whatever in New Orleans.
posted by loquax at 1:35 PM on September 14, 2005


If it's not big issue for the city to steal land from the individual, it should logically be as easy for the state to step in and take that same land from the city, no?
posted by clevershark at 1:09 PM PST on September 14 [!]


You're confusing state law issues with federal constitutional law. The Takings Clause only concerns the taking of private property for public use, so I think that it has nothing to do with the relations between a state and a municipality.

Also, I would like more impartial sources on Kelo than the Institute for Justice -- they do appear to litigate many worthwhile cases, but I'm fairly sure that their end goal is to "drown government in a bathtub."
posted by footnote at 1:36 PM on September 14, 2005


Also, Kelo is having exactly the effect it was supposed to have: states and localities are taking a close look at their eminent domain policies. Not so bad, folks.
posted by footnote at 1:37 PM on September 14, 2005


Well I did use the qualifier "logically", which should alert others that it's probably not the way the world really works :-)
posted by clevershark at 1:38 PM on September 14, 2005


Only reason I mentioned Republicans is that there's been a few news stories about current administration wanting to use New Orleans for their ideology. I wouldn't put it past any politician of any persuasion to use it in their own interests as well.
posted by destro at 1:44 PM on September 14, 2005


Also, Kelo is having exactly the effect it was supposed to have

Oh please, apologism at its worst. "By insanely extending the definition of 'public good' we're helping motivate localities to look more closely at their policies. While they're at it they'll no doubt note that the people in blighted areas such as these are the least able to fight, so combined with our willingness to sell individual rights down the river we achieve step 3: profit."
posted by phearlez at 2:04 PM on September 14, 2005


phearlez: As John Roberts has said in his confirmation hearings (not that I necessarily completely agree with him), this is an opportunity for legislatures, state and federal, to make new law preventing such actions. The constitutional ruling by the Supreme Court only clarified what powers the state theoretically has, not that they are encouraged or obligated to use them. It's up to the various governments affected to choose how to use or not use their powers, and up to the electorate to either reward or punish those governments based on their actions. I kind of see a similarity between this and Canada's notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Sure, any province up here *can* violate basic human rights for a renewable 5 year period, but who wants to bet that they'd still be around when those 5 years are up?
posted by loquax at 2:10 PM on September 14, 2005


Couldn't the state revoke the city's charter?
posted by stopgap at 2:11 PM on September 14, 2005


Phearlez - With the intertwining of public and private these days, I think it would have been unwise if not impossible for the Court to draw a clear line. I, for one, don't want every urban planning decision across the country to be reviewed in DC.
posted by footnote at 2:28 PM on September 14, 2005


I think if people actually read the Kelo decision, they'll find it much more reasonable than the IJ press releases make it out to be.

"Those who govern the City were not confronted with the need to remove blight in the Fort Trumbull area, but their determination that the area was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to our deference. The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including–but by no means limited to–new jobs and increased tax revenue. As with other exercises in urban planning and development,12 the City is endeavoring to coordinate a variety of commercial, residential, and recreational uses of land, with the hope that they will form a whole greater than the sum of its parts. To effectuate this plan, the City has invoked a state statute that specifically authorizes the use of eminent domain to promote economic development. Given the comprehensive character of the plan, the thorough deliberation that preceded its adoption, and the limited scope of our review, it is appropriate for us, as it was in Berman, to resolve the challenges of the individual owners, not on a piecemeal basis, but rather in light of the entire plan. Because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment." Kelo v. New London.
posted by footnote at 2:32 PM on September 14, 2005


Phearlez - With the intertwining of public and private these days, I think it would have been unwise if not impossible for the Court to draw a clear line.

You say this like the private sector should obtain the power of the state.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:39 PM on September 14, 2005


No, that's what libertarians like the Institute for Justice think.
posted by footnote at 2:43 PM on September 14, 2005


The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community,

And if the plan doesn't work out the way intended?

with the hope

With the HOPE. HOPE? What the hell kinda plan is "Hope"?

Lets see, taking others property on the basis of HOPE - Yea, no wonder the conservatives claim government lacks compentancy.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:43 PM on September 14, 2005


You say this like the private sector should obtain the power of the state.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:39 PM PST on September 14 [!]

No, that's what libertarians like the Institute for Justice think.
posted by footnote at 2:43 PM PST on September 14 [!]


Than, use this forum to be clear as to what you ARE saying. You did say "I think", did you not FootNote?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:46 PM on September 14, 2005


Rough, you can't deconstruct it on that level. If you wanted to raise an objection, it would be the meaning of "appreciable benefits" or "community."
posted by footnote at 2:47 PM on September 14, 2005


I think you guys are talking about different things.
posted by loquax at 2:49 PM on September 14, 2005


Sorry, I got lazy about responding inline:

1. You say this like the private sector should obtain the power of the state.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:39 PM PST on September 14 [!]


What I meant to say is that in practice, there is already a lot of privatization. Further, the groups most in favor of complete privatization (aka property rights) are those who are most strongly against Kelo. That's one of the ironies of the case: it is the neoconservatives who called for privatization, and their success in that endeavor is in part responsible for the result in Kelo and the difficulty in defining "public good."

2. The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community,

And if the plan doesn't work out the way intended?

with the hope

With the HOPE. HOPE? What the hell kinda plan is "Hope"?

Lets see, taking others property on the basis of HOPE - Yea, no wonder the conservatives claim government lacks compentancy.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:43 PM PST on September 14
[!]

Rough is picking the wrong parts of the opinion to object to. Regardless of the definition of "public good," nobody would ever argue that eminent domain has to be absolutely sure to acheive its purpose in order to be constitutional. Instead, they would focus on whether the projected benefits are actually public, etc.
posted by footnote at 3:02 PM on September 14, 2005


Argue the means however you want footnote. The end result is that eminent domain got hijacked from easing the creation of bridges and highway into a method by which campaign contributors could be rewarded.

A government's duty is to its citizens, not to itself and its coffers. I don't see how an increase in tax revenue is a public good when it comes at the expense of the public's rights.
posted by 517 at 5:31 PM on September 14, 2005


I don't see how an increase in tax revenue is a public good when it comes at the expense of the public's rights.

That's just the question, 517 - The Supreme Court decided that private citizens *did not* have the rights you discuss given their interpretation of the constitution. The right to property, like all rights, is not absolute, and in this case, the Court constricted that right as per their reading of the constitution. However, just because a particular state action is not unconstitutional doesn't mean that it's appropriate for the state to act in that way. The Supreme Court decision is in many ways a red herring. Don't worry about what the framers wrote 200 years ago, worry about how governments act today, to put it in simple terms. Congress could easily pass a law tomorrow banning future Kelo-type land grabs, regardless of what the Court decided.
posted by loquax at 6:03 PM on September 14, 2005


I only see a press release here, could we dig up something from the 'villians' before we start the vitriol? I doubt the NLC did this without some kind of announcement.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 6:34 PM on September 14, 2005


"Before anyone gets carried away, remember which justices voted which way in Kelo v. New London."

I wish you hadn't written that. The only reason I bothered to read this thread was to see which people are full of shit.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:42 PM on September 14, 2005


I wish you hadn't written that. The only reason I bothered to read this thread was to see which people are full of shit.

I'm having difficulty reading between the lines, here. Who is "full of shit," EB, and why do you say so?
posted by Kwantsar at 8:44 PM on September 14, 2005


I think he means kneejerk anti-conservatives/republicans would have been full of shit, given the makeup of the decision. I don't know if it's entirely fair to say so, but I also kind of wish I hadn't written it. Apologies if I misread you EB.
posted by loquax at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2005


Why give such governmental powers to a group set on abusing them? Just disband the NLDC.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:43 AM on September 15, 2005


I'm surprised a development corporation broke it's word. I'm floored that a developer would use unsavory tactics and attempt to weasel around government....

hell, I can't even keep that up.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:01 PM on September 15, 2005


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