Private property right in shopping centers

From today’s DP

“The U.S. Supreme Court has been pretty clear that property rights are to be decided by the states,” Collins said. He said the store owners’ rights to have unimpeded access for shoppers, and candidates’ rights to campaign without impeding shoppers, could easily be melded to accommodate both, as states such as California do.

He said he easily campaigned at Giant with permission from the store management and agreed not to interfere with customers’ easy access to the store.

Establishing the right of political candidates to campaign outside stores in large shopping centers “wouldn’t affect your front yard or my front yard or the inside of buildings,” Collins said.

In my mind, if a property is owned by an individual or corporation, no one has the right, nor should they, to come on said property for any reason unless they are invited – for example, to shop. I will comment more on this later …

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  1. Ted Corcoran May 31, 2005 at 09:32

    “no one has the right, nor should they, to come on said property for any reason unless they are invited – for example, to shop.”

    That makes it easy. Again, you seem unable to find a smidgeon of balance between private property rights and the public good. “Invited?” Why not simply install turnstiles at the entrance? Get your hand stamped! If you go out, you can’t come back in….

    No. What’s needed is a recognition that, yes, commerce must not be impeded. But also, in the wake of the larger trend of the vanishing-downtown, that portions of mall parking lots and/or sidewalks (infrastructure often paid-for thru proffers and government-aided gimmes) remain public spaces, free to those that choose to speak out within agreed-on modes of behavior. Works for abortion clinics, where setbacks are observed by right-to-lifers — and the speechifying can get pretty pointed.

  2. Jim June 2, 2005 at 16:02

    The cynic in me believes that once government achieves inroads towards a “balance,’ then that balance will swiftly and inevitably tilt towards the government’s stripping of private property rights. Retroactively attempting to establish a balance is wrong and unfair (but what does “fair” mean anymore?). Now that we recognize the need for open space for public discourse, how do we move forward?

    Were this sort of “sharing” agreement established upfront as part of the negotiating/approval process, I might be in favor of that. Hollymead Town Center/Old Trail, etc. would be perfect examples where this could have been an excellent opportunity. Establishing a “town square” area for these new urbanist developments would certainly be interesting, at least, and probably beneficial.

    With the above stated, the extremist aspect of my personality believes that personal property rights are and should be protected and preserved at almost all costs. The “for the greater good” argument is a tenuous one at best, in my humble opinion. I remain open to compromises for most any situation. Perhaps Mr. Collins would not have had the (seemingly desired) troubles had he consulted with the property owners first.

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