Poletown Overturned


Terrific news from Michigan: The state Supreme Court has reversed the infamous Poletown decision of 1981. In that case, the court allowed the City of Detroit to seize an entire neighborhood so GM could build a plant; it helped pave the way for the widespread eminent domain abuse of today. With County of Wayne v. Hathcock, the earlier ruling is overturned—"in order," the court writes, "to vindicate our constitution, protect the people?s property rights and preserve the legitimacy of the judicial branch as the expositor, not creator, of fundamental law."

That comes too late for the people of Poletown, where over 1000 homes, over 600 businesses, and a vibrant community were destroyed. But it sets an important precedent for the future.

The Institute for Justice has more about the case here. You can read the court's decision here.