Private property rights are a respected, long-established concept in this country. The eminent domain provision in
The Constitution provides for the taking of private land, at fair recompense, to promote the general welfare – – the construction of roads, bridges and other public projects deemed necessary for the conduct of commerce, travel and a social structure that operates in a reasonable and fair manner to promote the best interests of its citizens. The recent Supreme Court ruling that allows a Connecticut town to demolish homes and businesses for the express purpose of enhancing its tax base is an affront to decency and should not be implemented. Permitting private interests to assume the rights to these properties goes against every established norm this country espouses.
While it may not be possible to refute a Supreme Court judgment, neither should The Congress facilitate in any way the implementation of its decision. That is, there should be no federal funding of ancillary projects in connection with any such takings – – the use of transportation funds, for example. And every effort should be made to place stumbling blocks in the path of developers who look to make huge profits by trampling on the private property rights of ordinary citizens.
Hopefully, although they may have few options and little recourse, owners may find ways to forestall expedited action by the town and its would-be demolishers. The land isn’t after all a blighted area, infested with crime and disease to be razed in order to improve conditions; that would have been understandable. This is just plain and simple a land grab designed to increase tax revenues by taking prime real estate from private owners and putting it in the hands of corporate interests. Determining fair value for such land could be a long, costly prospect as well it should be. There should also be a thorough investigation of how this entire project was brought to town leaders and who stands to benefit the most.
In the meantime Congress should proceed with whatever measures possible to limit federal support for such takings. One puzzling aspect in this regard is the response of Democrat Nancy Pelosi in The House. Get on board, Mrs. Pelosi, If you don’t agree with the decision you should be helping to weaken its ramifications. A constitutional amendment is a long-range and ineffectual way of dealing with a matter of such immediate concern. And,frankly,your statements are incomprehensible in terms of what most people would consider democratic principles.

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