Acton Institute Powerblog

Sirico on Kelo

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Rev. Robert Sirico wrote a column in the Detroit News’ Faith and Policy series over the weekend on the Kelo v. New London decision handed down by the US Supreme Court. In “Court reveals conflicting ownership ideas,” Sirico writes,

In the Supreme Court’s “new” ownership society, the very safety and security of God-given, inalienable rights are threatened. Pope Leo XIII was pointing to this when he described private ownership as “a natural right of man” and a right that must be held “sacred and inviolable.” We can only hope the inevitable abuse of this newfound power will not manifest itself before there is a chance to reverse Kelo’s corrupting effects.

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • Matthew Newgarden

    Trump is inadvertently pointing to one of the reasons to oppose the “Kelo” decision : public risk for potential private gain. Not only did the city of New London and state of Connecticut spend $78 million for the redevelopment plan that never materialized but the state taxpayers for politically expedient reasons paid an additional $4.1 million settlement to the losing plaintiffs to get them out of their homes to forgo the spectacle of having them forcibly evicted. As Trump said they indeed were paid several times the actual market value of their homes to leave in the end. Also the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino which was adjacent to the property in Trump’s losing eminent domain case closed on September 16, 2014 from lack of business.