Woody Guthrie turned over in his grave last week, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided 5-4 to expand upon eminent domain. The decision allows a city government to set up a purchase of land owned by one party for a developer who will use the land to create more tax revenue for the city. This means that if you own a piece of land and it just so happens to look nice to mall developer, you will have to give it up for a fair price.
Ratified in 1791, the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that one shall not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
But just what is "just compensation?" When someone sues a party for emotional distress and psychological damage, is that inclusive in just compensation? Is the fact that your family has owned a piece of land for generations paid separately for the history their family has with that parcel? How are you compensated if that is the closest place to your job and you now have to drive a half-hour or more to work instead of walking? If several homes are leveled, that would mean that there are less on the market which increases the demand and price of homes in that area.
I have found it comedic that when friends of mine have heard about this decision they blamed big business for pushing for this. Yet, conservative judges fought against it. Meanwhile, someone has already announced their intentions to use this new decision against one of the judges that voted for it.