Eminent Domain for Real Public Use

Here’s a case of eminent domain that is clearly allowed for in the Constitution. Liberals defending the Kelo decision claimed that environmental protection would be harmed by a bright line distinction limiting localities from using public domain to take land from private citizens to give to private developers. Could someone explain to me how that would affect a plan to restore the Everglades by getting rid of private development? Or was there some other case of environmental protection that was at stake that involved transferring property from one private entity to another?

One thought on “Eminent Domain for Real Public Use

  1. Yeah, you could make an argument that the RAICH decision protected the EPA’s capability to enforce, say, the Endangered Species Act. I mean, if the ESA were limited to interstate or commerce applications, then anyone could destroy habitat for a species that was entirely contained within a state (many salamander species are limited to one watershed) so long as the destruction was not commercial in nature.

    I don’t see any such danger from the KELO case. Using eminent domain to create a nature preserve would clearly be different from building a strip-mall or dot-com office block.


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