This is really disturbing - Journal of Omnifarious
Jun. 23rd, 2005
03:10 pm - This is really disturbing
This headline is only a little more alarmist than the actual ruling. The ruling was that it was up to the states to decide what 'public good' meant in determining whether or not a particular instance of eminent domain was legal. This is really an abdication of their responsibility to uphold the constitution, because the definition of that term is crucial.
This is basically about a community deciding to grab a bunch of houses and hand them over to commercial developers. The community called it 'public good' because the activities of the commercial developers were part of a larger project. The state said "Sure!", and the Supreme Court said "Well, it's up to the states to decide what 'public good' means.".
I don't think having a flexible and changing definition of what 'public good' is in the case of eminent domain is a good idea. I think that leads to a lot of corruption and bribery, and basically those with power being allowed to take the property of those who don't whenever they want to.
I'm really surprised the court arrived at this decision.