Little Pink House is a new film starring Catherine Keener as Susette Kelo. It chronicles the story of Kelo v. City of New London, a famous eminent domain court case.
Most of us are aware that the government could potentially seize our property in cases to support the common good, but governments have also colluded with corporations to seize property by utilizing eminent domain. In one of the most controversial U.S. Supreme Court cases ever in 2005, in a 5-4 decision, the court agreed that private property could be seized and transferred over to another private party. In the Kelo case, the beneficiary was Pfizer Corporation.
“Though citizens are safe from the government in their homes, the homes themselves are not,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas in his dissent. The decision caused many states to add protections in their respective constitutions to limit eminent domain abuse.
Of course, property rights are a founding pillar of the Western world and has allowed Americans to flourish and remain elevated above their government. Thomas Jefferson declared, “The defense of private property is the standard by which ‘every provision’ of law, past and present, shall be judged.”
The film looks promising.
It’s also a reminder for North Carolinians to urge their lawmakers to pass further protections from eminent domain abuse. North Carolina was not one of the states to react to the Supreme Court decision by adding protections for property owners. A bill easily passed the House, but Senate Bill 74 needs to be sent to the governor.