Eminent Domain Essay example

757 Words May 18th, 2006 4 Pages
Eminent Domain is the government's right under the Fifth Amendment to acquire privately owned property for public use - to build a road, a school or a courthouse. Under eminent domain, the government buys your property, paying you what's determined to be fair market value. In recent years, there has been much debate over the appropriateness of eminent domain, and further its legality in specific instances. The government is allowed to seize personal property for private use if they can prove that doing it will serve what's called "the public good". There have been many cases brought up against the government in attempt to regulate the government's power in seizing private property. There is a political push for reform to the eminent …show more content…
ft for homes in a specific neighborhood. In an area with older houses, many of these qualifications may not be met, which would in turn classify certain houses as blighted. This does not imply that the homeowners have failed to maintain there property properly, but infers that the area can be used for a higher and better use.
Amongst topics of conversation regarding eminent domain, one will find regulatory usage of land, seizing of land for public use, and the most controversial of late, the seizing of land from a private owner and giving it to a more economically beneficial, often politically connected private owner. Kelo v New London (US 2005), has prompted dozens of proposals to reform eminent domain practices legislatively. Most of these proposals would restrict the use of eminent domain to transfer property from one private individual to another. It is one thing to have a city claim property to further the development of the city by building roads, schools, etc. It is another thing altogether for the government to seize a property so as to gain money from higher taxation. For many years, however, courts have read the public-use restraint broadly, enabling governments to take property from one owner, often small and powerless, and transfer it to another, often large and politically connected, all in the name of economic development, urban renewal, or job creation.
With the media's focus on cases like Kelo v New London, the public is
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