Activists Hope High Court Ends 'Eminent Domain Abuse'
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – Property rights activists in St. Louis are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will change the way local governments use eminent domain laws, after the justices hear a Connecticut case Tuesday.
A woman in New Haven says plans to take her property for a private development are unconstitutional.
Groups around the country, including in St. Louis, used the occasion to protest what they say are eminent domain abuses.
Auto mechanic Jim Day says the Grand Center arts district wants to redevelop his land. But he doesn't want to sell.
"They offered me $67,500, which is ridiculous," Day said. "I got $630,000 in that property. It's worth $1.6 million. I'm there to stay. Let's rally; let's make it happen!"
The constitution allows private property to be taken for the public good with just compensation.
But city leaders around the country say the public good can be served with the tax revenue private development generates.