Damon Root on Lessons from Kelo, the Eminent Domain Case That Wiped Out a Neighborhood


Credit: Institute for Justice

The latest issue of The Weekly Standard describes the Supreme Court's 2005 eminent domain ruling in Kelo v. City of New London as "a tragedy with all the classical Greek elements: hubris, turn of fortune, cathartic downfall, and possibly the 'learning through suffering' that Aristotle in his Poetics argued was the point of tragic drama." That is certainly a plausible interpretation of the case, argues Reason Senior Editor Damon Root. But unfortunately, Root adds, there's at least one major player in this tragedy who has yet to show any signs of learning his lesson from the suffering he caused. That person is Justice John Paul Stevens, whose majority opinion allowed the forced condemnations to proceed.