Eminent domain is an unnecessary action

Staff Editorial

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Eminent domain leaves landowners in the dust while the government overrules their ownership.

It is protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment, which states, “Private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

While the government holds the power to condemn private property for the use of the public, this authority can be given to private businesses in projects that will benefit the general public.

Or does it?

In some cases, eminent domain takes advantage of and exploits the American people for the individual’s freedom to private property.

In San Ramon, the local government was considering rezoning a golf course in order for development company to establish posh new housing complexes.

The pressure on homeowners to forgo ownership of their property has driven public protest over the personal possession for something as inherently ensured as the land one lives on.

 Matters such as these may seem trivial, but on a national scale, they parallel to similar events across the country. 

The Dakota Pipeline and the new Keystone XL pipeline look to re-route through private properties and even across sacred Native American grounds.

People have congregated in masses to protest these pipelines and their exploitations of private land, and rightly so. 

The Californian supports the right of people to protect and refuse to give up their land in certain cases.

The government does have the right to take property from private owners if the project will positively impact many lives of the general public. 

But this taking and giving process must be mutual on both sides of the agreement. 

Possibly in the future, president-elect Donald Trump will be using a massive force of eminent domain to begin construction on  his supposed Not-so-great Wall of America along the Mexican border.

In other cases, eminent domain is necessary to be able to benefit Americans as a whole with the sacrifices of others’ land.

Eminent domain can potentially be a positive tool for both the public and government’s plans, but more through plan revision and careful thought is necessary.