2/24/15 Kelo Redux


The Kelo versus New London decision is cited by many as one of the worst Supreme Court opinions in the modern era.

In 2005, a divided Supreme Court ruled the City of New London, Connecticut — using eminent domain — could seize an entire neighborhood and make the property available to pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer. The argument was Pfizer would pay more in taxes than mere homeowners.

In the end everyone lost.  After homes were bulldozed Pfizer walked away. What was once a vibrant neighborhood is now a trash dump.

Connecticut is again pushing the envelope when it comes to seizing items of value.

Claiming eminent domain, the Department of Transportation seized the licenses of four bus companies [Collins Bus Service Inc., Dattco Inc., Nason Partners Inc., and the New Britain Transportation Co.].

According to state law, these licenses may only be revoked if operators violated regulations.  Examples include violations pertaining to fares, schedules, and safety of passengers.

In some cases, these bus companies have had their licenses for decades. The state claims it now wants to put the licenses out for bid.

Here’s the back story. 

Next month is the launch of C-T Fast Track.  A controversial, nearly 600 million dollar state-owned and operated bus service.  The primary route is the stretch of highway between the cities of New Britain and Hartford.  The same route traveled by the private bus operators.

This suggests the seizure of licenses is a ploy to eliminate private competition thereby forcing the public to use the state-run bus system.

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