What if the government wants to buy your property for its own use? The pictures below depict a home surrounded by beautiful woods— AND a frontage road, an interstate highway, sports field(s), and a multi-story hotel (I took the pictures from the hotel’s 5th-floor window). What is this home doing in the middle of a bustling highway and several high school sports fields? Would you like this arrangement?
What Does the Fifth Amendment Say?
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution deals with personal and property rights. Note the last two sections of it:
“[No person shall]… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
I could not collect factual information about the homeowner, but I did ask a long-time local resident. It would seem that this property meant a lot to the owner. It is possible that they were offered “just compensation” to move but refused. Usually, the government sweetens the deal to make it profitable for the owner to vacate the land and leave it well-compensated.
As I teach my young students, it is your constitutional right to refuse to move, but the government will build its highway or structure around the property. Both parties get what they want, but the pictures, in my humble opinion, demonstrate a possible outcome.
What does this look like to you? Would you sell? Would you stay? I’m glad we have that constitutional right to choose, unlike in Argentina (or other countries, for that matter), that makes the choice for you.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸