Sunday, August 07, 2005

Taking Eminent Domain to the Max

Rich Lowry’s Saturday column in the New York Post (no link) underscores our running commentary about the protean nature of the anti-eminent domain coalition. Lowry features the always colorful and controversial Maxine Waters whose immediate and visceral reaction to the Kelo decision took some folks by surprise.

It shouldn’t have. A number of years ago Congresswoman Waters led a neighborhood opposition to the attempt by the LA Unified School District to take a park and a number of private homes in the community of South Park to build a school (Which actually is a legitimate use of the taking clause).

What is truly encouraging, however, is Waters’s unequivocal stance in favor of property rights, something that the liberal folks at the New Republic and the New York Times should learn from. Her strong stance is particularly important because it underscores what Justice O’Conner and Thomas have written about the vulnerability of poor communities of color to unrestricted government taking.