Constitutional Justice in Eminent Domain
As told in the magnificent Little Pink House, the city of New London and its New London Development Corporation (NLDC, now Renaissance City Dev. Corp.) planned to acquire and redevelop 90 acres on the Fort Trumbull peninsula. After the state invested $75 million in the plan, the NLDC used eminent domain to acquire lots owned by Susette Kelo, and her six neighbors. The NLDC argued the economic benefits of the proposed plan were a “public use” justifying the taking. Kelo sued, and the case reached the Supreme Court, which sided with the city. Thirteen years after the Kelo decision, after all the condemning and evicting and bulldozing, nothing has been built on the land that was taken. A hotel deal recently fell through, as did a plan for condominium units.
Open Martin's Beach
Martin's Beach is a picturesque pocket beach just south of Half Moon Bay. It had long been visited by the public until soon after it was sold in 2008 to a then-anonymous owner for $32.5 million. Not long after the property changed hands, the billboard was painted over and a keycard gate was closed permanently to the public. The chances for future generations to make memories at Martin's Beach were brought to an abrupt halt when the locked gates and signs were erected at the entrance to the beach road. Surfrider Foundation cites the violations of the beach access protections of the California Coastal Act. Specifically, the property owner cannot add new development or change the intensity of use of coastal land without a Coastal Development Permit. The development here comes in the form of new gates, new signage and even the use of armed guards to deter public access. Surfrider Foundation cites the violations of the beach access protections of the California Coastal Act. Specifically, the property owner c
Gideon's Trumpet: Indigent Right to Counsel
Charged in a Florida State Court with a noncapital felony, I appeared without funds and without counsel and asked the Court to appoint counsel for me; but this was denied on the ground that the state law permitted appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in capital cases only. I conducted my own defense about as well as could be expected of a layman; but was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. Subsequently, I applied to the State Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, on the ground that my conviction violated his rights under the Federal Constitution. The State Supreme Court denied all relief.
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