Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blog 2

Julie Nolan

Blog Post Assignment 2

Markets and Environments

Eminent Domain

All of us know the gist of what eminent domain means, the government can come in and take your home or land away from you and they end up paying you money in order to do this. However how many of us actually know the real meaning of the words eminent domain? Probably very few of us. The definition according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is a right of a government to take private property for public use by virtue of the superior dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction.

Many people view this as unfair or just plain old the government using it’s power to hurt others and not think about the people’s feelings. A government however must meet two requirements when they want to exercise the right of eminent domain and that is just compensation, i.e. market value of the property, and also a public use. The government cannot just go and buy land just for the hell of it they have to have a public use for the land already in place that they want to use it for it does not matter what it is just that it has to be taken for the good of the public. I believe that the definition of what eminent domain is suppose to be and what the directions for that land works if that is how the government follows it. There have been cases where the government abuses it’s powers, however when has the government not abused a power it was given. I hate to say it but it happens.

For example, in a case dubbed:

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that a South Carolina land use regulation deprived a coastal land owner of any possible economic benefit from his land. The land owner wanted to build homes on his land and was not allowed to according to the terms of the land use regulations, which were designed to protect endangered wetlands.

The Court said that preventing Mr. Lucas from gaining any economic benefit from his land had the same effect as "taking" the land, and that, therefore, he was entitled to compensation according to the Eminent Domain Clause.

I believe that this is a prime example of the government doing what is right, yes it had to be brought to their attention in the form of a court room but once it was they paid Mr. Lucas his just compensation just like Eminent Domain says to.

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