Somin Comments on Detroit Bankruptcy Cited in Op-Ed

The author of a Richmond Times Dispatch op-ed examining common threads in stories about the Virginia governor's scandals, actions of the two men running against him, the Detroit bankruptcy, and the president's recent economic speech cited comments by Professor Ilya Somin in his article.

"Writing on the legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin noted that 'for many years Detroit aggressively used eminent domain to promote "economic development" and "urban renewal.'"  The principal winners were 'politically influential private interests.' The principal losers were poor, often minority, communities:

“'The most notorious example was the 1981 Poletown case, in which some 4,000 people lost their homes, and numerous businesses were forced to move in order to make way for a General Motors factory. . . . [T]he Poletown takings — like many other similar condemnations — ended up destroying far more development than they ever created. In his prescient dissent in Poletown, Michigan Supreme Court Justice James Ryan warned that there was no real reason to expect that the project would produce the growth promised by GM and noted that Detroit and the court had "subordinated a constitutional right to private corporate interests."'"

Hinkle: Too much taking and giving, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 28, 2013. By A. Barton Hinkle.

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