Friday, March 10, 2006

Municipal Golf Course

I noted yesterday that a city government was exploring the use of eminent domain to take a private golf club, for the purpose of turning the course into a public golf course. The takings in the Kelo opinion were said to be for the public purposes of economic development. Of course the term public purposes is not the term found in the Takings Clause. The term in the takings clause is public use. If government takes a private golf course to then be the owner and manager of the course, and if government then says the course is a municipal or public golf course, wouldn't government be taking private property for public use?

Suppose we decide the answer is yes. Doesn't taking a private golf course to turn it into a public golf course seem to be something we don't want government to have the power to do?


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