Poletown seizures are ruled unlawfulHere's the best part:
State Supreme Court restricts government rights to take land
July 31, 2004
BY JOHN GALLAGHER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
Reversing more than two decades of land-use law, the Michigan Supreme Court late Friday overturned its own landmark 1981 Poletown decision and sharply restricted governments such as Detroit and Wayne County from seizing private land to give to other private users.
The unanimous decision is a decisive victory for property owners who object to the government seizing their land, only to give it to another private owner to build stadiums, theaters, factories, housing subdivisions and other economic development projects the government deems worthwhile.
Detroit and other municipalities have used the Poletown standard for years to justify land seizures as a way to revitalize.
In the decision, the court rejected Wayne County's attempt to seize private land south of Metro Airport for its proposed Pinnacle Aeropark high-technology park. The Pinnacle project, announced in 1999, is geared to making Wayne County a hub of international high-tech development linked to the airport....
Justice Robert Young, who wrote the lead opinion, called the 1981 case allowing Detroit's Poletown neighborhood to be cleared for a GM plant a "radical departure from fundamental constitutional principles."It's exhilarating to read such utterances from a State supreme court.
"We overrule Poletown," Young wrote, "in order to vindicate our constitution, protect the people's property rights and preserve the legitimacy of the judicial branch as the expositor, not creator, of fundamental law."