What An Astounding Waste

Via Cato:

The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.

But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes' seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London.

To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost. Five justices found this redevelopment met the constitutional hurdle of "public use."

More Kelo coverage here.

  • Dale

    It makes me think that maybe there is still a little justice in the world. As far as I’m concerned that land can sit there for all eternity as a reminder to that damn city, and the judges that did not uphold our constitution.

  • john

    There was a similar case here. As I understand it the court found the other way, but the result was similar.

    It was a pretty ordinary neighborhood before, but it sure is blighted now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwood,_Ohio_v._Horney

    Last time I was by that way it was about 10 acres of weeds and rubble.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20091030/BIZ01/310300056/1001/BIZ

  • perlhaqr

    Good thing they knocked that woman's house down. I mean, otherwise there might still be people living there! And who would want that?

  • nom de guerre

    how very ironic. perhaps the town, and each and every judge that signed off on this stinking atrocity, will formally apologize to the plaintiffs and make things right. no? "moscow has no time for tears?"

    go figure. well then, i'm sure that at LEAST the town will sue pfizer for misrepresentation and try to collect all their "kelo" legal fees back, as well as all the taxes pfizer *would have paid* if they'd kept their word.

    no??

  • me

    Ow. It'll be interesting to follow future legal developments in this case. I hope that the victims will be able to recover some of the value lost.

  • Fred Z

    Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

    Their website is http://www.supremecourtus.gov/index.html

    You can't call them or email them, but there is an address, "Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, DC 20543".

    Who knows, maybe a nice polite letter, or two, letting them know just how badly they screwed up, might help. I doubt it, but you never know.

    I sometimes think that courts are so ivory towerish, they have no clue.

  • Michael

    John,

    The last property has been sold. What is odd is that the developer is now going to build a hotel and movie theater in an area with 2 closed theaters(this year) and a abandoned mid scale hotel complex all with in a few miles.

  • Mark

    The people in this case really have a beef with their local politicians. As much as I dislike the Kelo ruling, I understand it, and appreciate the court not adding new rights to the constitution. (Remember complaining about added rights with say Roe vs Wade).

    With this decision people all across the county have done the right thing and have had local and state laws made to ban this sort of thing.

  • @mark:

    As much as I dislike the Kelo ruling, I understand it, and appreciate the court not adding new rights to the constitution.

    What the ? No one wanted the court to add new rights - they just wanted the court to enforce the limitations on government power that are ALREADY in the constitution!

  • Michel

    Mark,

    I don't know the neighborhood in the Kelo case. But in the Ohio case, I walked every streets of the area. This was a well cared for middle class area. The math is simple. Destroy a neighborhood and give it to someone else hoping government gets more money. If the case held in Ohio, 90% of the state could be torn down in the hopes government would get more money.

  • nom de guerre

    people i know - know very well - sometimes give me grief because i am a self-admitted practitioner of situational ethics. when dealing with individuals or small businesses, i try always to do the bible thing and act honorably; keep my word; honor the contract; all that. nor claiming to be perfect: sometimes i fail at this. (like when blurting out utterly insincere offers of marriage and/or fully-paid college scholarships to particularly stunning strippers), but i DO try. honest.

    except in the case of large corporations. then...watch out. i feel/sense/perceive absolutely no sense of honor emanating from them, so i return their contempt in spades. i'll screw them over whenever possible. if i were significantly upside-down on my house, even though i still have a good income, i'd stop paying the note, live rent-free until they managed to boot me out, and make them *show me the note* (evidently, this is a problem for banks: turns out paying people $6 an hour to file away deeds & titles is coming back to haunt them) before i left at the VERY LAST instant before the sheriff showed up. then i'd go rent a house from ma & pa kettle, (*not* a multinational corporation) and i'd make sure the rent was paid 3 days in advance, in cash if they'd prefer it.

    and i'd feel not one iota of guilt about this. certainly no more guilt than the banks 'feel' when they revoke credit-cards from longstanding customers with good credit histories because the computer ID'd them as a possible default risk; or unilaterally jacked up the APR to 30% because they determined the customer was desperate enough to accept it. certainly no more "guilt" than pfizer "feels" for destroying the kelo neighborhood and then reneging on the promises they made to new london to make that deal happen. "we simply have to respond to changing business conditions. obsolete notions of 'honor' and 'duty' have no place in the world of business or politics anymore."

    nothing personal. just business. as kim du toit once pointed out, the bond between big companies and their customers & employees is broken - and the big companies are the ones who broke it, so they're not allowed to whine about it. now, i KNOW donald trump would approve of this strategy, since he essentially invented it, and i have no intention of changing my philosophy of ethics, but i'm curious - what's the opinion in coyoteland?