In 1954 the Supreme Court declared in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. But that same year it also ruled in Berman v. Parker that government’s power of eminent domain could be used to seize property in order to tear down “blighted” areas.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor warned in her Kelo dissent “all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded.” She added that the decision’s effect is to “wash out any distinction between private and public use of property–and thereby effectively to delete the words ‘for public use’ from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”
Read the entire editorial here. This may seem like I am beating a dead horse, as I post on the eminent domain issue seemingly daily. The reason I do is that the threat of localities taking private property to give it to a greater-revenue-generating private entity is real. When the NAACP, the Institute for Justice, Operation PUSH, et. al. are speaking from the same pulpit, the Supreme Court must have truly made a mistake.