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Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

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  • Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

    Some background on this egregious 2005 Supreme Court decision wich expanded the power of Eminent Domain to include economic redevelopement. It basically "gave goverment officials unlimited power to confiscate private land to give to other private citizens or entities":
    The Big Question:

    Can the government constitutionally claim homes and other private property for "public use," even if the government itself will not be using the property?

    The Fifth Amendment and the "Public Use" Standard:

    The Fifth Amendment concludes with the words: "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." This phrase is referred to as the "takings clause."

    Background of the Case:

    In 1998, the drug company Pfizer built a new plant in New London, Connecticut. To take advantage of additional business the plant might bring in, the City of New London attempted to purchase 115 houses in a nearby area in order to sell it to commercial developers. 15 residents resisted, so the city cited eminent domain and claimed the land.

    The Supreme Court's Verdict:
    In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the City of New London.

    Full Text of the Supreme Court's Decision in Kelo v. City of New London (2005), with Concurrence and Dissents

    The Majority Ruling:

    The Court's opinion, written by Justice John Paul Stevens and joined by justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter, holds that a city may claim private property under the Fifth Amendment so long as it does so as part of a clear economic development plan intended to benefit the community as a whole. Source.
    Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

    The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.

    But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes' seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London.

    To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost. Five justices found this redevelopment met the constitutional hurdle of "public use."

    The Hartford Courant reports:

    Pfizer Inc. will shut down its massive New London research and development headquarters and transfer most of the 1,400 people working there to Groton, the pharmaceutical giant said Monday....

    Pfizer is now deciding what to do with its giant New London offices, and will consider selling it, leasing it and other options, a company spokeswoman said.

    Scott Bullock, Kelo's co-counsel in the case, told me: "This shows the folly of these redevelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain."
    Pfizer Leaving New London, CT; Just Don't Mention 'Kelo' While Reporting It

    "It wasn't that long ago that New London was wooing Pfizer to Fort Trumbull, and in a bitter and infamous eminent-domain battle, taking away private homes to make way for a business and technology park. Tonight, along with taking a look and the business and economic impact of Pfizer leaving there is as you might imagine, strong reaction from residents, wondering what exactly they lost their homes for.
    Some excerpts from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's scathing dissent against the 2005 Kelo vs New London decision:
    The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. 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.Source
    Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result. Source.
    So in the end everyone looses. All that effort to strip the homeowners of their property was all in vain. I remember when this decision happened and I thought, thats it for property rights in America. So the beat goes on, citizens loose, corporations and goverment always win. The city of New London got what they derserved, shame on them for trampling the Constitution all in the name of 'economic redevelopement' and shame on the Supreme Court justices that voted in favor of that crap.
    |TG-X| mp40x

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  • #2
    Re: Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

    Another demonstration of why being against Big Government doesn't make you for Big Corporations.
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

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