With all the property rights news coming out of the Supreme Court and New York Court of Appeals in the last week, I almost missed Wednesday’s fifth anniversary of the dreadful Kelo v. New London decision. Justice Stevens’s opinion in Kelo sanctioned a transfer of private property from homeowners to a big company in the name of (promised but, as we’ve seen, never realized) job creation and increased tax revenue.
This was a Pyrrhic victory for eminent domain abusers, however, given:
- 9 state high courts have limited eminent domain powers;
- 43 state legislatures have passed greater property rights reform;
- 44 eminent domain abuse projects have been defeated by grassroots activists;
- 88 percent of the public now believes that property rights are as important as free speech and freedom of religion.