Contact: Christie Hobbs
Phone: (202) 419-1820

WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday’s eminent domain ruling by the Supreme Court was a shocking rejection of the rights of private property owners who could be held powerless if local governments decide to seize their land for economic development.

“This ruling gives free reign for the government to seize what everyday citizens have worked their entire lives for,” said Michelle D. Bernard, senior vice president at the Independent Women’s Forum. “You don’t need a math degree to realize that a new shopping center or office complex could generate more tax revenue than a single family home, a small business or a church. Every tax paying citizen in this country is vulnerable to losing their property under this new ruling.”

The Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London concerned whether local governments can take private property without consent under the guise that such takings serve a “public purpose.” The case was decided 5-4 in favor of the city of New London, Conn., giving this local government the green light to seize private homes for commercial development.

“Time and time again, plans touted as ‘urban renewal projects’ end up hurting the communities they claim to be helping.Namely, women, minorities, the elderly, and the poor,” said Bernard.