The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Brief Word About Stadiums...

I got an e-mail from a friend asking me about the President's benefitting from the building of the Texas Rangers stadium, as discussed on the blog a few days ago ( ). She hadn't read the blog, yet, and I offered the pertinent section, but realized I hadn't been explicit in my position on them.

Traditionally, I've said, that one of the legitimate uses of eminent domain is to take land for public spaces, like public parks (within reason, though. There should be limits on the amount of land that government owns. Currently, the federal government of the United States owns over a third of all land in the United States. This is problematic for a whole host of reasons to say the least).

Stadiums, theoretically, could be considered such public spaces. But to me, the distinction is ownership and direct benefit. A stadium for a private economic enterprise (like a privately-owned sports team) should not be built using the power of eminent domain.

On the other hand, a stadium built as a public space - like the stadium on Randall's Island in New York, where I used to run track, or stadiums built for public educational institutions - can have eminent domain used to acquire the land upon which it will be built.

It's a subtle distinction, but an important one, and, in my opinion, the Constitutional difference.

Thanks for the question!!!

- Andrew Langer


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