Eminent Domain Not Popular For A Reason — The (New London CT) Day, 1/26/05

Letter to the Editor

By Scott Bullock, Sr Attorney, Institute for Justice

The numbers are in and it is not surprising that a majority of New Londoners are against eminent domain in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. People do not like it when government attempts to kick people out of their homes.

But according to New London Development Corp. President Michael Joplin, people turned against eminent domain in New London only because of the public relations efforts of the Institute for Justice, the law firm that represents property owners fighting to save their homes. ("New Londoners back change in city government," Jan. 16.) Mr. Joplin blames the Institute for problems of his and his failed organization's own making.

Mr. Joplin also claims that NLDC has "won every time we've gone to court." The truth is that a majority of the homeowners won in the trial court and lost by a 4-3 margin in the Connecticut Supreme Court, setting up the appeal now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Joplin also states that NLDC has focused on "legalities." By fighting over "legalities" for years, at whatever the cost, the NLDC has not focused on the wisdom, morality, or constitutionality of its actions.

On Feb. 22, Fort Trumbull homeowners stand poised to make history before the Supreme Court. They can hold their heads up high knowing they have fought for their rights and for the rights of every homeowner in the nation. In contrast, New London city councilors, NLDC members and their lawyers should hang their heads in shame at what they have done to Fort Trumbull property owners, the citizens of their city and state, and to the Constitution of the United States.

The Day: www.theday.com

Institute for Justice: www.ij.org