08 February 2008

Turnabout, or Sour Grapes . . .

. . . I agree with Prof. Somin (at Volokh Conspiracy), and think this is more a case of sour grapes than 'turnabout is fair play'. Eminent domain abuse is wrong, period, whether or not you like who is on the losing end. The irony that the company which primarily benefitted from the takings responsible for the suit that lead to the Kelo decision seems to be in a position to suffer a takings that the Kelo decision helps make possible is delicious.

But tasty irony aside, if the property is valuable, then Brooklyn can buy the land, and not use government as a cudgel so they can then set their own 'fair market price' for compensation.

The reason that eminent domain must be severly limited is because when the government doing the taking is also in charge of deciding what a a 'fair market price' for compensation will be, it's hard to trust that they won't cheat in their own favor.

If my property is that valuable to you (the 'you' in this case being some level of local, state or federal government), make me an offer I can't refuse due to its generosity, not an offer I can't refuse because you force me to sell it to you below true market value like some mafia goon.

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