Civil Liberties

The Spectre of Eminent Domain is Haunting America


Here's one for the "you can't make this stuff up" file. A friend toiling in the academy forwarded me a pdf copy of Peter Ranis' article "Eminent Domain: Unused Tool for American Labor?", which was published in the June 2007 issue of WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. As Ranis claims (spoiler alert!):

The time is ripe for a broad-based coalition of legislatures, community interests, labor unions, and social movements to promote the use of eminent domain to expropriate with compensation enterprises in danger of being abandoned and moved offshore by their owners.

Expropriate! To answer your question, yes, this is a real article. Ranis, an emeritus professor of political science at the City of New York Graduate Center, apparently hasn't bothered to read the friend of the court brief (pdf) filed by the NAACP in Kelo v. City of New London, which correctly points out that "the burden of eminent domain has and will continue to fall disproportionately upon racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and the economically disadvantaged." I'm guessing Ranis also hasn't heard about the smell or the birds that have taken over New London's eminent domain debacle.

For some of the many reasons why eminent domain abuse is bad for all Americans, even lefties like Prof. Ranis, read Reason's eminent domain coverage.