"The Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London dealt a serious blow to the fundamental rights of the private property owner," said Rep. Herseth Sandlin. "In essence, the ruling means that governments can take your property and give it to someone else for private use. This was a dangerous precedent when the case was first decided and it remains a dangerous precedent that deserves congressional action" [quoted in Jon Hunter, "Property Rights Would Regain Some Stature If Bill Passes," Madison Daily Leader, 2009.12.15].
What Hunter fails to explain—and what would make an interesting follow-up editorial, or a discussion in the comment section beneath his editorials, if his newspaper website had one—is how his apparent revulsion at the prospect of eminent domain fits with his expression of support of the Keystone pipelines. Hunter rejects the use of eminent domain for private use, yet he never mentions TransCanada's resort to eminent domain for the construction of its private pipeline. In his November 23 editorial, he relegates eminent domain to a blithe subordinate clause referring to "challenges with acquiring rights of way."
So which is it, Jon? Is eminent domain for private use always bad? Is it o.k. for Big Oil? Or is it just another meme to signal your allegiance to the big business crowd?