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Friday, July 29, 2005

Kelo will not move

Kelo says that despite losing a Supreme Court decision, she is not moving from for house to make room for a private developer in New London. The landmark case has created a national outcry and Connecticut lawmakers are now set to review and make changes to the eniment domain law.

From the Greenwich Times
Susette Kelo spoke at a special General Assembly hearing where lawmakers heard testimony on the power of local governments to seize private property and give it to developers in order to increase tax receipts and create jobs.

"That is deeply offensive to the sense of fair play, no matter how much compensation is eventually offered," Kelo said at a joint hearing of the Judiciary, and Planning and Development committees. "While the city has owned my house for years, it is still my home and I am never going to leave it."

The U.S. Supreme Court decision created an outcry across the country from people worried it would open the floodgates for cities and towns to seize their homes.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said that New London had the right to take the homes in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood and allow developers to build a condominium, office and hotel project to achieve the public purpose of increasing taxes and creating jobs.

But the court also invited state legislatures to tighten restrictions as they saw fit and Connecticut lawmakers have taken up the challenge.

Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, which represented many of the homeowners in the court case, said there are 26 states, including Connecticut, now considering changes in eminent domain laws as a result of the ruling.

"It is one of the most serious and potentially despotic government powers," Bullock told the committees.