A House Divided: A Story About Eminent Domain


by Timothy Sandefur

Yankee magazine has a feature story on the Kelo case. It's a chilling tale of what goes on in an America that once prided itself on freedom and equality. Excerpt:

On the day before Thanksgiving of that year, a sheriff affixed a letter to Kelo's door: Her home had been condemned by the city of New London and the NLDC. She would be given $128,000 in compensation (a little more than twice what she had paid), and she had to be out by March. A few blocks away, on Goshen Street, the same thing was happening at the Cristofaro residence, only in this case both of the elderly Cristofaros happened to be home when the sheriff arrived. According to their son Michael, the news was so upsetting that his mother began having chest pain and had to be taken to the hospital.

Bill Von Winkle, who was living in the Fort and was also a landlord there, recalls another unpleasant moment: "They kicked in the doors and woke people up," he says of the effort to empty his buildings of tenants after he refused to evict them. "Afterwards, they nailed the doors shut and put padlocks on the front. The police had to come and let everyone back in."

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