Friday, June 24, 2005

Supreme court allows towns to destroy private buildings - will the ISM protest?

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments can force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted, and the new project's success is not guaranteed.

The landmark 5-4 ruling provided the strong affirmation state and local governments had sought for their increasing use of eminent domain for urban revitalization, especially in the Northeast, where many city centers have decayed, and the suburban land supply is dwindling.

[...]Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority Thursday, cited past cases in which the court has interpreted 'public use' to include not only such traditional projects as bridges or highways, but also slum clearance and land redistribution. He concluded that a 'public purpose' such as creating new jobs in a depressed city can also satisfy the Fifth Amendment.

So when are we going to see Rachel Corrie's parents and friends standing in front of bulldozers in American slums?

Or will they argue that a strip mall is more of the public interest than Jews stopping arms-smuggling tunnels and terrorist hideouts?

Perhaps, just perhaps, they can resolve the contradiction by arguing that killing Jews is in fact in the public interest, as the ISM evidently believes.