Landmark Eminent Domain Case Ends In Tragedy

Unless you're a libertarian, or a lawyer, you probably didn't pay too much attention to Kelo v. New London, an eminent domain case that worked its way all up to the Supreme Court.  New London wanted to hand over its ability to seize private homes to a private entity, the New London Development Corp, in order to "develop" the area for Pfizer, which had a plant in the area.  Libertarians objected strenuously, and helped Susette Kelo push her claim to the highest court of the land . . . which then ruled against her.

Now Pfizer is pulling out, following their merger with Wyeth.  Incoming mayor Robert M. Pero wanly says:  "Basically, our economy lost a thousand jobs, but we still have a building". 

Alex Tabarrok coins an aphorism:  "Those who would sacrifice property rights to development end up with neither."  Too true--it's worth noting that the other landmark eminent domain case, Poletown, was in Detroit.  But it's not really that tempting to gloat, because this is a pretty tragic disaster for New London.


Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Business

Just In