There can be no question that eminent domain remains a hot button issue. Regardless of your role in an eminent domain project, it is critical to always be mindful of this fact which was made evident by two recent articles.
In one, George Will wrote an op-ed article regarding a Texas case in which an author was sued for defamation regarding her description of the use of eminent domain for a project for a Dallas developer. The author, Carla Main discussed that condemnation project in her book “Bulldozed: ‘Kelo,’ Eminent Domain and the American Lust for Land.” Her book is very critical of the use of eminent domain for economic development. The Dallas developer sued Main and her publisher. Will, citing the Institute for Justice — an Arlington-based public-interest group that represented the Kelo condemnees and other condemnees nationally – claims this is an example of “a national trend of attempted intimidation by litigation.” Will’s article, which was published by numerous papers locally and nationally, can be found at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081902262.html.
The other was written by Dana Berliner, a leader of the Institute for Justice. She has taken up the cause of the property owners challenging the taking of their property for redevelopment in Brooklyn including a new New Jersey Nets arena. That case, addressed in one of my posts below, is pending before the New York Supreme Court. The New York Daily News printed a lengthy editorial written by Ms. Berliner. That article can be found at www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/08/24/2009-08-24_end_eminent_domain_abuse.html.