Some background here; there’s also an actual book on the subject called Little Pink House. Anyway, turns out that there was no need in this specific case to throw out residents from their houses; it was superfluous to requirements, apparently.
The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.
But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes’ seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London.
To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost. Five justices found this redevelopment met the constitutional hurdle of “public use.”
PS: I’d just like to note for the record that the dissenting judges on this one – the ones respectful of private property, in other words – were Judges O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, & Thomas.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.