The center-left majority of the Supreme Court in 2006 ruled that states and localities can use eminent domain to take land from one private landowner and give it to a politcally preferred private landowner.
The Constitution says eminent domain is allowed when the land will be for "public use," (say, a military fort, a public park, or a border wall), but John Paul Stevens, with an assist from his three liberal colleagues and centrist Anthony Kennedy decided that a private development corporation in New London, Connecticut, could take away people's houses (at the request of Pfizer) to turn it into whatever it wanted. (They never turned it into anything, and Pfizer has since left.)
This story is relevant as liberals try to peddle the lie that a judge like Gorsuch, who follows the text of the Constitution and who often reins in government overreach, is thus no friend of the little guy. Property rights, it turns out, are for the little guy, who doesn't have the political connections of Pfizer or Wal-Mart.
It's also relevant because Georgia, under Republican rule, is about to scrap the property protections it passed after Kelo.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:
Georgia lawmakers Thursday approved allowing local governments to seize blighted property for economic development, altering eminent domain reforms passed more than a decade ago.
The changes in House Bill 434 worry those concerned that government officials will abuse the power.
"We see this as expanding eminent domain," said Tochie Blad, a Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods board member. "How do you define blight? It is in the eyes of the beholder."
Again, this is about a government deciding that Paul should own the land instead of Peter, and so taking the land from Peter to give to Paul. Republicans sometimes love that idea of a Living Constitution and activist government, I suppose.
Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner's commentary editor, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Tuesday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.