Whose Domain is it?
August 1, 2001 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Whose Domain is it? (via Fark) Good question. When does the Government cross the line in practicing Imminent Domain? How can we, the people prevent this? Is it time for a new Amendment to the constitution?
posted by da5id (7 comments total)

 
I have a friend who's family owned 155 acres of farm land in Clermont County, Ohio. The government came in and decided to build a park, and took all but 15 acres from them.

In the end, the park used 50 acres are the 140 they took, and the government then leased it to other private farmers for their personal use.

Many times, the government uses this in cases in which is just simply abuse.
posted by benjh at 8:23 AM on August 1, 2001


When does the Government cross the line in practicing Imminent Domain?

<pedantry>That would be eminent domain.</pedantry>

Congress should enact legislation that specifies the constitutional rights of property owners under the Fifth Amendment’s Just Compensation Clause and treat property taken through regulation the same as property taken through physical seizure, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:50 AM on August 1, 2001


Congress should enact legislation that specifies the constitutional rights of property owners under the
Fifth Amendment’s Just Compensation Clause


Don't hold your breath is right. Congress cannot enact legislation specifying constitutional rights. You would have to amend the Constitution (or in this case, amend the 5th amendment) in order to do that. Otherwise, the question of constitutional rights is left to the courts.
posted by lawtalkinguy at 9:07 AM on August 1, 2001


Don't hold your breath is right. Congress cannot enact legislation specifying constitutional rights. You would have to amend the Constitution (or in this case, amend the 5th amendment) in order to do that. Otherwise, the question of constitutional rights is left to the courts.

The Congress passes bills that reiterate constitutional rights all the time. Example:

The House passed H.R. 925, the Private Property Protection Act of 1995. The House bill provided, “The Federal Government shall compensate an owner of property whose use of any portion of that property has been limited by an agency action, under a specified regulatory law, that diminishes the fair market value of that portion by 20 percent or more.”

Now, I think H.R. 925 was way too limited, but that's the sort of thing to which I was referring - not changing the amendment at all, but setting out some specific guidelines and compensation based on the language of the amendment.
posted by ljromanoff at 9:20 AM on August 1, 2001


Although presented as a story about the excess of government, read between the lines. This is a story of the
excesses of corporations, and simply using the government as a instrument to seize homes. It is Pfizer, Corp that is causing the New London homes to be taken (though this NLDC), and putting pressure on the local government.

The local governments are helpless in these cases. A company like Pfizer has the biggest negotiating weapon-- it can just threaten to move out, which would cripple the town and probably several town residents who are employees.
posted by brucec at 9:47 AM on August 1, 2001


Although presented as a story about the excess of government, read between the lines. This is a story of the
excesses of corporations, and simply using the government as a instrument to seize homes. It is Pfizer, Corp that is causing the New London homes to be taken (though this NLDC), and putting pressure on the local government.


The fact that the corporation can use the government as an instrument legally is what makes it a government abuse. If Pfizer tried to force the residents out themselves, it would be extortion, but when the city government assists them it's merely "redevelopment."
posted by ljromanoff at 10:22 AM on August 1, 2001


<sarcasm>Poor, poor, helpless government. If only they had the "power" to resist the financial wooing of big, bad, evil companies like Pfizer.</sarcasm>

Of course, if the government's power was limited in the first place (hey, now that's an idea I've never heard before) maybe there'd be nothing for the evil rich to usurp.

It's a simple fact of life that no matter how big and scary we make our governments, big and bad corporations will always be better equipped to manuever through the system than smaller companies or individuals.
posted by mikewas at 11:35 AM on August 1, 2001


« Older After the recent race riot troubles we have had he...  |  Darwin Visits the Ukraine...... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments