As we noted earlier (click here ), the subject of misusing the eminent domain/redevelopment process as a means of displacing unwanted minority populations is back in vogue, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Also, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has been holding a hearing on abuses of eminent domain today, August 12th. Thanks to modern technology, the video of today’s hearing is available now on C-Span; click here
We will have some comments after we get a chance to look at the video again, but for now we must share with our readers our amazement over the testimony of Professor Peter Byrne of Georgetown University, who presented a sugar-coated image of redevelopment, assuring the Commission that any problems that may have once existed are now safely in the past. He even had the chutzpa to contradict Professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University, whose testimony preceded Byrne’s.
Suffice it to say for now that even as Prof. Byrne was extolling the virtues and fairness of redevelopment and assured the Commission that abuses of it were in the past, he failed to take note of the fact that even as he spoke, the U.S. Justice Deprtment has been suing midwestern cities over their abuses of the process of redevelopment to expel unwanted minority populations. Click on the link on the first line of this post.
Follow up. The Commission will receive public comments for 30 days after August 12, 2011, So if you have a story about eminent domain abuse, this is the time to get it on paper and send it to the Commission. Be brief, truthful and accurate. You can write to the Commission at:
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 624 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20425