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  • I'm surprised that everyone is so surprised about this. But then again, we've got some experience with this in my family.

    My grandfather owned a dry cleaning shop in Philadelphia, right off of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. That is, until UofP decided it wanted to expand the campus and "liberate" a couple blocks of thriving commercial activity and rental properties. The site where my grandfather's store was is now part of the new Dental School. Actually, the parking lot for the dental sc

    • Right, but the difference is that UofP is part of the government. This case wasn't about the government taking private property for itself (that's what eminent domain has been about from the beginning), but about government taking property from one group of private owners (which in most cases will be small businesses and individual homeowners) and giving it to another group of private owners (which in most cases will be large developers and sports team owners), on the theory that the rich guys are better ab
      • Oops. I guess I mixed up UofP and Penn State. Still, the fact that this sort of thing has been going on for a while doesn't mean the Supreme Court is going to rule in its favor. It was a 5-4 decision, after all.
        • You're not the only one. I had a friend who did his undergrad at PSU and his grad work at UofP. Someone presented him a tshirt that said:

          Penn State University of Pennsylvania

          The long tradition of eminent domain certainly didn't pre-determine the court's decision. I haven't read the decision (yet), but the soundbite or two that I heard seem to indicate that the courts think this isn't a federal matter, and that municipal governments have the best idea as to what's a reasonable public benefit.