Saturday, June 25, 2005

Tick one major win for the coming-soon-to-a-neighborhood-near-you new wave of urban renewal

Mikaela says:
Way to go Supreme Court -- fighting to pave the way for justice for ... the moneyed and empowered.

Cities Given Ok to Seize Homes To Spur Economic Development
The Supreme Court has issued a major ruling on property rights. A split court ruled Thursday that cities may seize and demolish private homes - even in non-blighted areas -- to make way for shopping malls and other private development. Writing for the majority Justice John Paul Stevens wrote "Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government." But Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote a scathing dissent saying "Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall or any farm with a factory." Joining O'Connor in opposing the ruling were Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Land use experts are predicting the ruling is likely to encourage more cities to clear land for office complexes or big-box retailers.