Eminent domain is the “power of the state to appropriate private property for its own use without the owner’s consent.”. It’s traditionally used when a public project needs to make use of private land, such as building a highway. I suppose that giving up one's house for the sake of a highway isn’t pleasant for the people that own the land, but perhaps it’s necessary. All the same, eminent domain has drawn the line at taking private property for private use… until now.
In a recently decided Supreme Court case, the City of New London, Connecticut wanted to take away some Fort Trumbull residents’ houses and give that land to Pfizer so that it could build a plant there. The city cited “eminent domain” as their justification but the residents balked at that idea and sued. The case went from the New London Superior Court to the Connecticut Supreme Court and from there to U. S. Supreme Court. And on June 23rd, the Supreme Court ruled against the homeowners.
With that out of the way, a private developer wants to make the most of this newfound power and build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road in Weare, New Hampshire. Naturally, there’s already a house there, though in this case the house is owned by Justice David H. Souter, one of the Supreme Court justices that supported the recent ruling:
On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter’s home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.
The proposed development, called “The Lost Liberty Hotel” will feature the “Just Desserts Café” and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon’s Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.”
Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans. […]
Though Clements insists that this is “not a prank”, I doubt his request will go any further than the nearest circular file. All the same, I wish Clements the best of luck — even if his request is denied (or ignored), perhaps this will bring some public attention to this atrocious Supreme Court decision.
(Via: Boing Boing)