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Bulldozing for Wal-Mart
Supreme Court case will decide whether local governments can bulldoze homes for big-box stores.
On February 22, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that may decide if your city is entitled to bulldoze your home to make way for a Wal-Mart. Though the U.S. Constitution requires that private property be seized only for "public use," local governments are increasingly invoking their power of eminent domain in the name of "economic development" -- often on behalf of big-box stores and, as in upcoming Kelo v. City of New London, corporations like pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Cities claim that the desperately needed tax revenue generated by new development qualifies the projects as "public use."
In the January/February issue of Mother Jones, Gary Greenberg reports on a Norwood, Ohio case where citizens are standing up to a city that deemed their homes "blighted" and "economically obsolete" in order to make way for a shopping complex - and the resistance they are facing from developers and neighbors alike. Read: The Condemned
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