The Right Coast
August 08, 2004
Michigan Decision Puts Public Use Requirement Back into Eminent Domain Law
By Gail Heriot
George Mason University's Ilya Somin writes for Sunday's Detroit News:
"The Michigan Supreme Court has overruled one of the worst judicial decisions of modern times. In County of Wayne v. Hathcock, the court reversed the infamous 1981 Poletown decision that allowed Detroit to use the power of eminent domain to take and bulldoze an entire neighborhood so General Motors could build a new factory. As a result of Poletown, more than 4,200 people lost their homes, 600 businesses and 16 churches were destroyed, and a historic community — known as Poletown after its large Polish-American population — was wiped out...."
Update: Michael DeBow pointed out to me that Thomas Bray also has a great column on the decision and that the Detroit Free Press wrote a favorable editorial.