Long Beach used eminent domain to purchase property “using the developer’s money” and then transferred ownership to the developer. How much other money also changed hands is not recorded. The local government seized private property for no other reason than to build another Megamart.
The basis for this is a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that determined actions like this to be legal. The article notes that after this decision, such actions increased 5 fold in one year. If people don’t have a right to private property, there are no rights at all. It violates the very foundation of our system.
For the record, the Justices who approved of this were Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg, Stevens, Breyer; those opposed were Renhquist, O’Connor, Scalia, and Thomas.