Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-13-2019, 12:32 PM
UtterlyLost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 4

Use of Eminent Domain to Return Public Land


I'm not sure which section this question this belongs in so any mod feel free to move it.

It's my understanding that in the US during this current administration that lots of public lands are being sold off to private people and/or companies. Could the next administration to take office essentially reverse all of these sales by use of Eminent Domain and say its for the public good to return these lands to the public with any compensation being bare minimal to discourage future abuses?
  #2  
Old 08-13-2019, 12:58 PM
thelurkinghorror is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Venial Sin City
Posts: 13,811
Where do you see that this is actively happening, and not bills written but not passed/the Interior Secretary's ideological stance? Land sales have happened over the years, but at a small scale, and many of them are like-kind exchanges to change borders. And this is mainly federal lands, states are given more leeway for sales.

I suggest caution in using eminent domain/executive orders in doing anything like that, as your successor can quickly reverse it. The Bears Ears monument was a minor to medium argument, but both Trump and Obama used purely executive methods.
  #3  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:04 PM
Procrustus is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pacific NW.
Posts: 12,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtterlyLost View Post
I'm not sure which section this question this belongs in so any mod feel free to move it.

It's my understanding that in the US during this current administration that lots of public lands are being sold off to private people and/or companies. Could the next administration to take office essentially reverse all of these sales by use of Eminent Domain and say its for the public good to return these lands to the public with any compensation being bare minimal to discourage future abuses?
Compensations couldn't be "bare minimal." It would have to be fair. The Constitution requires "just compensation," which is typically fair market value.
  #4  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:20 PM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 81,352
Quote:
Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Compensations couldn't be "bare minimal." It would have to be fair. The Constitution requires "just compensation," which is typically fair market value.
Would the price the private corporation paid for the public land when they bought it be a fair market value price if the government bought the land back through eminent domain?
  #5  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:28 PM
Procrustus is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pacific NW.
Posts: 12,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Would the price the private corporation paid for the public land when they bought it be a fair market value price if the government bought the land back through eminent domain?
Someone could make that argument (if too much time has not passed) but that would not necessarily be conclusive evidence. Maybe it's worth more now because of development plans. Or less, for some reason.
  #6  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:53 PM
UtterlyLost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Where do you see that this is actively happening, and not bills written but not passed/the Interior Secretary's ideological stance? Land sales have happened over the years, but at a small scale, and many of them are like-kind exchanges to change borders. And this is mainly federal lands, states are given more leeway for sales.

I suggest caution in using eminent domain/executive orders in doing anything like that, as your successor can quickly reverse it. The Bears Ears monument was a minor to medium argument, but both Trump and Obama used purely executive methods.
I stand corrected. I had thought the transfers had been happening on a larger scale but see that I was mistaken. I guess that turns this question more in to a hypothetical than actual situation.
  #7  
Old 08-15-2019, 04:51 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Someone could make that argument (if too much time has not passed) but that would not necessarily be conclusive evidence. Maybe it's worth more now because of development plans. Or less, for some reason.
On average, I would guess that the buyer of public lands is likely better at valuing it than the bureaucracy that's selling them off, so I expect that selling public lands then buying them back via eminent domain would be a major money loser for the government even before counting all the legal battles that would inevitably ensue.
  #8  
Old 08-15-2019, 05:15 PM
HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 13,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtterlyLost View Post
... It's my understanding that in the US during this current administration that lots of public lands are being sold off to private people and/or companies. ...
I'm genuinely curious how you came to this understanding. Was it a friends-around-the-water-cooler type thing? Some website you were reading? A news story? Twitter? CNN?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 08-15-2019 at 05:15 PM.
  #9  
Old 08-15-2019, 05:44 PM
thelurkinghorror is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Venial Sin City
Posts: 13,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
I'm genuinely curious how you came to this understanding. Was it a friends-around-the-water-cooler type thing? Some website you were reading? A news story? Twitter? CNN?
The current secretary has championed sales in the past, and OP thought it was an ongoing thing and not his potential future intent.
  #10  
Old 08-15-2019, 05:52 PM
HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 13,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
The current secretary has championed sales in the past, and OP thought it was an ongoing thing and not his potential future intent.
Is that speculation on your part or something you know for a fact?
  #11  
Old 08-15-2019, 06:04 PM
slash2k is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Is that speculation on your part or something you know for a fact?
It's the current (acting) head of the Bureau of Land Management who has most actively championed public land sales (cite to his National Review article), arguing that the Founding Fathers intended all lands to be sold and that it is unconstitutional for the feds to retain them. Pendley was appointed to his position by the current Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt.
  #12  
Old 08-15-2019, 10:02 PM
thelurkinghorror is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Venial Sin City
Posts: 13,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by slash2k View Post
It's the current (acting) head of the Bureau of Land Management who has most actively championed public land sales (cite to his National Review article), arguing that the Founding Fathers intended all lands to be sold and that it is unconstitutional for the feds to retain them. Pendley was appointed to his position by the current Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt.
You are correct, Director of BLM not Secretary of Interior.
  #13  
Old 08-16-2019, 10:56 AM
puddleglum's Avatar
puddleglum is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a van down by the river
Posts: 6,595
According to Kelo the definition of public use is pretty much whatever the government wants it to be. However, since that decision a much better Justice has replaced Kennedy so hopefully what the OP is proposing would be deemed unconstitutional.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:52 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017