September 16th, 2015
Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The man, the legend. As he moves up in the polls of the Republican primaries, more and more news stories about his past and his business dealings are coming to light. One in particular caught the eye of this blog.
Eminent domain may only be used for a “public purpose.” The problem with this requirement is that one man’s public purpose is another man’s economic folly. In 2005, the US Supreme Court decided Kelo v. City of New London. There, the Court held that demolishing un-blighted housing for economic development (in that case, demolishing a neighborhood to install a Pfizer research center) met the public purpose prong required for all takings.
I happen to agree with it [eminent domain for economic development] 100%. if you have a person living in an area that’s not even necessarily a good area, and … government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and … create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good.
The court considered the consequences and effects of these three condemnation actions and concluded that the primary interest served here is a private rather than a public one and as such the actions cannot be justified under the law.’
ownership or control of property acquired pursuant to [an eminent domain] petition may not be conveyed by the condemning authority or any other entity to a natural person or private entity, by lease or otherwise, except that ownership or control of property acquired pursuant to such petition may be conveyed, by lease or otherwise, to a natural person or private entity: [the statute then includes numerous accepted public use like roads, utilities, infrastructure and pipelines]
(f)?Without restriction, after public notice and competitive bidding unless otherwise provided by general law, if less than 10 years have elapsed since the condemning authority acquired title to the property and the following conditions are met:1.?The condemning authority or governmental entity holding title to the property documents that the property is no longer needed for the use or purpose for which it was acquired by the condemning authority or for which it was transferred to the current titleholder; and2.?The owner from whom the property was taken by eminent domain is given the opportunity to repurchase the property at the price that he or she received from the condemning authority;