Eminent Domain Documentary Creating a Buzz on Indie Film Circuit

Date: 11 Jun 2009 | posted in: governance | 0 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

More than nine years in the making, the independent film ”Begging For Billionaires: The Attack on Property Rights in America” was selected as a “Best of Fest” feature by the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival and won “Best Documentary” at the Texandance International Film Festival.  In 2005, a divided U.S. Supreme Court gave city governments the authority to take private homes and businesses by eminent domain and transfer ownership to private developers for the purpose of building things like shopping centers, corporate office towers, luxury condominiums and professional sports arenas. According the court’s decision in Kelo v City of New London, the community economic development private projects are now considered “public use” under the 5th Amendment’s “takings clause.” The Court’s ruling – which argues that community “economic development” supersedes a citizen’s or business’s constitutional property rights – was broadly lambasted as a gross misinterpretation of the constitution. Begging for Billionaires begs the question: are we losing sight of the balance between individual property rights and community economic development?