Susette Kelo bought a run-down home. She fixed it up and painted it pink. Then the government came and took it.
"Eminent Domain" has long allowed politicians to grab your property to build roads, railroad tracks, a border wall–anything they claim is for "public use." But they wanted Kelo's house so they could give the property to a private developer. Is that right?
A new movie called "Little Pink House" tells the story of how Susette fought for her home, all the way to the Supreme Court.
Eventually she lost her case, and her home.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor explained the problem in her dissent, writing, "nothing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."
The decision alarmed people across America. Some states passed laws limiting their politicians right to grab your property.
Several years after the Supreme Court's decision, John Stossel went with Susette to look at the place where her home used to stand, where politicians had said "the tax-paying development" would be. There was nothing there, just unused land. Even today, 13 years later, there's still no development. The politicians were wrong. Susette and others lost their homes anyway.
Stossel says this new movie, "The Little Pink House," which comes out at the end of the month, is a good reminder of just how powerful, and wrong, politicians often are.
The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel, his independent production company, Stossel Productions, and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.