In a Supreme Court decision today, the Court ruled in favor of cities being able to condemn property for more “advantageous” development. For instance, in our own Twin Cities area, Best Buy corporation wanted to relocate to Richfield. To do so, the city of Richfield bought out several businesses and houses to make room for Best Buy. Why? Greater property tax revenue. Right of immanent domain used to be reserved for cities and other government entities to take blighted areas and improve them, or make way for roads. Not any more. If a city gets wooed by a major developer, they can go ahead and bulldoze any existing property.
This is not good government. Small cities, or landlocked cities who have fully developed their land now have permission to move out homeowners and existing businesses if some bigger corporation wants to relocate to their area. It raises revenues for cities, gives corporations major advantages, and the rich get richer…
While I would say we need to raise a prophetic voice to say when a Court makes a bad decision, there is also the current debate among “right wing” Christians about HOW to return the judiciary to its “proper place”. (Here is where you read “proper place” to mean, “We want them to rule in a way that is in OUR favor.”)
A recent Christianity Today editorial gives some stimulating thought.