The City of Richmond, California is seriously considering using eminent domain to provide mortgage relief to homeowners, but I seriously doubt the Constitution allows such action.

After all, if a government seizes a lender’s stake in a home mortgage loan to give the homeowner relief from meeting his full obligation under that mortgage contract by using the power of eminent domain, then how is that not the government impairing the obligations of that mortgage contract?

IMHO, the only way this is not an impairment of the obligations of those seized contracts is that if for “just compensation” they pay the lenders the full outstanding balance of the loan at the time of the seizure instead of whatever the fair market value for the home is at the time.

One has to wonder if a “public use” can be defined to be something that the Constitution expressly prohibits, then what good are any of its expressed limits be?

Oh well, I suppose the City of Richmond could just argue that their seizure is really a tax on lenders who chose “not” to grant their troubled borrowers relief from their contracted obligations, and Justice Roberts would Okay the usurpation.