For those who are following the political hackspersonship that is being fomented around the Supreme Court’s Kelo v New London decision: Today’s WaPo has a front page story and a double truck jump spread on what is happening in Southeast Federal District in response to the baseball stadium plan.

Actually there are three points to be made:

One: It is a crime that the stadium is going forward with little apparent conceptual planning to create a Balanced Community in the area between the Anacostia and the Southeast Freeway nor is there any reported acknowledgment of the National Capital Planning Commissions Year 2050 Plan to make South Capital Street into an new monumental corridor with, perhaps a great setting for a relocated Supreme Court complex.

Second: The front page picture of the two story Star Market/open air drug market which is now next to two new 14 story buildings is exactly the sort of problem (if there were a well considered, comprehensive plan) that would be helped by the majority opinion in Kelo and wiped out the knee jerk pandering to erect “safeguards.” See our post of 23 June on this Blog titled New London Hotel Panic.

Third: All that new development and all those new “private property rights/property value” would not exist unless the public was investing/coordinating half a billion dollars in infrastructure and facilities. That reality is omitted in all the discussions of “property rights.”


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  1. Ray Hyde Avatar

    The Kelo opinion appears to be wildly unpopular, with the result that legislative initiatives are being put in place across the nation to do what the court said could be done: deny actions like what happened in New London legislatively.

    As a result, according to an earlier article in the Wall Street Journal, dozens of projects are on hold or have been abandoned due to merely the perception of unfairness. Some corporations want no part of these projects for PR considerations.

    The new property rights/property value do not exist for those being ejected: they get paid only the previous value. The point at issue is not that the new values are worth more. These people aren’t interested. What they want is the continuity that comes from having and continuing to have generations of family in one home, or they want to keep what they had, not what someone else wants them to have.

    This is a case where many people believe the public good should be outweighed by the individuals rights. You cannot have a level playing field otherwise.

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