Susette Kelo has finally received a little justice, just not her property.
You may remember Kelo, who battled the town of New London, Conn., all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court over the confiscation of her property through eminent domain. She lost her case, and ultimately her land, to a private developer that wanted to put the land to more productive (read generate more tax revenue for New London) use.
Inexplicably, the U.S. Supreme Court found in favor of New London and the New London Development Corp. Never mind the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that bothersome clause that says, “…nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
So what is Kelo’s justice? Though the case was settled in 2005 so far no development has appeared on the land. Reporters that have been there describe it as a sea of mud. Controversy over the court wranglings to essentially steal property from its rightful owners slowed things down, and a recession and credit crisis has, thus far, killed the project.
Meanwhile, that tax revenue that put dollar signs in the eyes of New Londoners hasn’t materialized. No ritzy condos or hip coffee shops have popped up. In fact, New London isn’t even getting the tax revenue it received before Kelo and her neighbors were run off.
Sometimes you have to revel in the small victories.