The practice of eminent domain is one that continues to generate extremely intense feelings across the United States, and this week saw the debate continue to grow in scope as the Supreme Court began to hear preliminary arguments in a well-publicized case that originated in New London, Conn. In this case, the city government of New London is hoping to use eminent domain to acquire a number of private residences in what has been classified as a primarily industrial urbanized area, and turn the land over to private developers so that they can build a number of new buildings. The city is hoping that such new projects will increase New London’s tax revenues and serves as a spur for other like-minded urban developments. This case is considered a test case as it essentially looks at whether local and state governments can use the policy of eminent domain to acquire private properties and turn them over to other private property owners in order to raise additional revenues. One local homeowner in New London whose property would be demolished for such a new urban redevelopment project summed up the sentiments of many other property owners when she commented that “It’s obvious they don’t want us here, and they’ve done everything in their power to make us leave. They are simply taking our property from us private owners and giving it to another private owner to develop.”
The first link leads to news coverage of this eminent domain case as provided by CNN, and reported by Bill Mears of the news network's Washington, D.C., bureau. The second link will take visitors to additional coverage of the case, provided by the Detroit Free Press. The third link leads to a very detailed site provided by the Institute for Justice, which is assisting the property owners in New London with their case. Here visitors can read additional information about the case and other germane news briefs. The fourth link will take visitors to a nice audio feature from National Public Radio that features legal analyst Dahlia Lithwick discussing the implications of this case with NPR’s own Madeleine Brand. The fifth link leads to a rather interesting weblog that provides news items related to eminent domain as compiled by Alan Krigman. The sixth and final link leads to a paper authored by Nancey Green Leigh (for The Brookings Institution) on the role of the state in urban land redevelopment that is pertinent to the discussion regarding eminent domain.
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