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Eminem’s Domain Expanded

Friday, June 24, 2005

(SNN Washington) Yesterday, rejecting pleas by homeowners fighting to keep their property, the Supreme Court said rapper Eminem could condemn a person’s home or business so the sites could be developed for more lucrative uses.

The 5-4 decision written by Justice John Paul Stevens says the Constitution permits the rapper to condemn a person’s property as part of a broader economic redevelopment plan to revitalize a distressed community. "Promoting economic development is a traditional and long-accepted function of government," the court said, upholding efforts by Em to redevelop a parcel of land in a distressed part of New London, Conn.

Nine New London homeowners had argued that Em’s efforts to condemn their property for the redevelopment project violated the Constitution's 5th Amendment, which says that no private property shall be "taken for public use, without just compensation." The private redevelopment, they said, was not a "public use." But the court agreed with Eminem, holding that the proposed private economic redevelopment, promoted as one that would add jobs and increase tax revenue, did amount to a "public use" that would permit Em to take the homeowners' property after paying them the fair value for it.

This is an appalling decision by the Supreme Court

"This is an appalling decision by the Supreme Court," said Dana Berliner, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which represented the New London homeowners fighting to keep their properties. "It's now just fine to take somebody's home or business away from them just because Eminem thinks someone else can make more profit off that land."

Thursday's decision produced a sharp dissent from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who said it means that "any property may now be taken”. Also, many question whether these vast new powers will also extend to Dr. Dre or possible even 50 cent.

The rapper has already announced his intentions to condemn Ja Rule's house in order to build a Wal-Mart, as soon as the location of Ja Rule’s home can be properly determined.

It's an embarassing day to be a rap star.
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