For those who think Kelo v. City of New London doesn’t affect them, think again.
There’s a good bit of misinformation out there, most of it claiming that the Supreme Court’s now infamous decision in Kelo should not cause home and small business owners any concern, and that there is no need to reform state laws in order to curb the abuse of eminent domain. It’s a completely bogus argument, but one that’s not unexpected given the large amounts of land and cash to be obtained by the proponents of the virtually unlimited exercise of eminent domain.
The story of Reba June Thompson and her son Howard provides a perfect illustration of how Kelo endangered home and business owners around the country. The family, which hopes to remain in their home despite the appetite of local developer, DESCO Group, lost its first round to stay put when a St. Louis Circuit Court judge issued a condemnation order requiring the Howards to vacate their home for a shopping center. The Howards’ home is one of twenty the developer desires so that it can build a mail, which will include a Lowe’s and Schnucks.
In his opinion, however, Judge Timothy J. Wilson expressed his frustration with the Kelo case and the general status of the law in the Show-Me State. He noted: “The United States Supreme Court has denied the Alamo reinforcements. Perhaps the people will clip the wings of eminent domain in Missouri, but today in Missouri it soars and devours.”
Judge Wilson’s frustration is no doubt shared by home and small business owners around the country, as every poll on the issue shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with the majority’s ruling in Kelo. Everyone, except those with an interest in the power, acknowledges that the decision constituted a major shift in the basic protections America provides to home and business owners. The time has come to restore those protections. Please become a member of the Castle Coalition today and join the fight against eminent domain abuse.