Now something similar is afoot in Texas. Before continuing to read this blog post, please go to THIS LINK to read the article and to watch the video about another possible impending land grab on the part of the Bureau Land Management.
The BLM aside, the matter of eminent domain (objected to by our Founders Thomas Jefferson and James Madison), particularly as redefined by the Kelo v. City of New London decision of 2005, should be of concern to all Americans — no matter where they live.
Prior to the Kelo decision, privately-owned land was typically not confiscated by the government and transferred to another private owner. Rather, the power of seizing private property via the power of eminent domain was restricted to certain public-use situations so as to prevent the abuse of government power:
...Jim Saleet worked in the pharmaceutical industry, paid off his house and then retired. Now, he and his wife plan to spend the rest of their days there [in Lakewood, Ohio], and pass their house on to their children.Returning for a moment to the case of New London, Connecticut, land was confiscated from the owners of private property and ownership transferred to another private owner for "the public good." Today, that land in New London, Connecticut, is a "temporary dump":
But Lakewood's mayor, Madeleine Cain, has other plans. She wants to tear down the Saleets' home, plus 55 homes around it, along with four apartment buildings and more than a dozen businesses.
Why? So that private developers can build high-priced condos, and a high-end shopping mall, and thus raise Lakewood's property tax base.
The mayor told 60 Minutes that she sought out a developer for the project because Lakewood's aging tax base has been shrinking and the city simply needs more money.
"This is about Lakewood's future. Lakewood cannot survive without a strengthened tax base. Is it right to consider this a public good? Absolutely," says the mayor, who admits that it's difficult and unfortunate that the Saleets are being asked to give up their home....
The case arose in the context of condemnation by the city of New London, Connecticut, of privately owned real property, so that it could be used as part of a “comprehensive redevelopment plan.” However, the private developer was unable to obtain financing and abandoned the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot, which was eventually turned into a temporary dump.In Philadelphia, there has been another recent case involving the overreach of eminent domain in Philadelphia.
Learn more about the case involving artist James Dupree HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Learn more about James Dupree's art studio HERE.
This should now be running through your head:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.