Saturday, July 13, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, May 30, 2014
Today in 1984: SCOTUS Upholds Hawaii Land Redistribution Eminent Domain Plan
By Robert Thomas @ 5:52 PM :: 6553 Views :: Hawaii History, Land Use

It Was 30 Years Ago Today...

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, May 30, 2014

...No, not Sgt. Pepper. It was on this day in 1984 that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 8-0 decision in Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 467 U.S. 229 (1984), as this article ("Today in 1984: SCOTUS Upholds Hawaii Land Redistribution Eminent Domain Plan") correctly notes.

Check it out. The author, "an attorney practicing in the areas of family law and estate planning" (?) does a good job and asks valid questions:

Why was there so little outcry against Midkiff, which involved a government takings program far vaster than that at issue in Kelo? For one, there has been a rise in general distrust of government among the populace between Midkiff and Kelo. But, perhaps more significantly, as noted in an earlier Today in Legal History installment, Kelo’s property transfer was, generally speaking, from poor to rich, whereas Midkiff’s transfers were the other way around.

We have wondered the same thing. What the author may not know is that the public vibe, at least in Hawaii, has shifted regarding the wisdom of the use of eminent domain to take property from landed alii trusts. When a measure was proposed to create a similar land reform act applicable to condominium property regimes (the LRA at issue in Midkiff applied only to single-family residential), the legislature rejected it. A similar ordinance was eventually adopted by the City and County of Honolulu, and ultimately upheld under Midkiff by the state and federal courts from public use challenges. But after several years of implementation, the city council repealed the law due to public outcry. So times have definitely changed, even though we suspect that this has more to do with Hawaiian empowerment than it does a distaste for eminent domain generally.

We've also questioned Midkiff's core holding: is an exercise of the domain power really the same as an exercise of police power? In Midkiff -- and most recently confirmed by the majority in Kelo -- the Court told us that eminent domain was just another land use regulatory tool, like zoning, so deserved to be reviewed by the court under the same deferential "rational basis" standard, or perhaps with even less scrutiny under the no-standard Berman standard ("well-nigh conclusive").

The author of the article suggests that the result might be different were Midkiff before the Court today, and we think he's probably right, although there may not be enough votes to overrule it entirely. Read his entire piece here.

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii