June 23, 2005

What's Yours Is Not

Kelo v. New London was decided today, 5-4; the left half of the Court-- Stevens, Ginsberg, Souter, Breyer, and Kennedy-- affirmed the principle that local governments may take your land and give it to a developer. Eugene Volokh throws out a theory on why this might not be all that bad, though I think the counterarguments he ponders are more persuasive than his main point. Most other free-market types are unhappy. Tim Carney notes that this sort of eminent domain abuse is an example of what he's writing a book about: how big business conspires with big government.

Glenn Reynolds writes: "Judging by my email, and the reactions I've seen around the blogosphere, I think the political impact of this decision is going to be very large." I'm not sure that's right; do that many people even know what eminent domain is, let alone vote on it? But even if Reynolds overstates the size of the decision's political impact, his thoughts on the nature of the impact are still worth reading.

UPDATE: More here.

Posted by John Tabin at June 23, 2005 02:56 PM

The real winners here are the environmentalists who will be able to make land off-limits by greasing a few palms at city hall. Although this can be addressed at the state level, it is still (another) blow to property rights.

Posted by: Tim Birdnow at June 26, 2005 03:40 PM