In this past week’s reading’s, a topic in chapter 5 was eminent domain which means that government can expropriate private property, with just compensation, for public purposes.
What was surprising but confusing was the supreme court cases Berman v. Parker and Kelo v. New London [Connecticut]. Both cases (of the same matter) were due to the transfer of private-party-to-private-party where it should be private-party-to-government. In both cases they were found against the plaintiff which caused a “torrent of frustration”. In 2006 a year after the decision of the second case, 44 state legislatures met up and were able to come to an agreement that restricted rights of the state as well as local governments to take private property if it were to be given to another private party. Another bill passed in attempt to constrain the use of eminent domain was Arizona 207. This bill was named “The Private Property Rights Protection Act,” this stated if a private property owner’s land resulted in a decrease of value, this bill makes sure the private property owner gets compensation.
It is mind boggling that the supreme court cases were of the same situation and after 2 court cases they came to the same verdict. But a year later they were able to overturn the decision, why did they need a full year and multiple cases to realize something that seemed so obvious to be unjust. Another shocking point to me is that if someone has sentimental value to their dream home regardless, the government can take it away still giving proper compensation.