With all of the recent GOP hype about property rights, what could be more hypocritical than for the Republican president to benefit from eminent domain in the establishment of his presidential library? This may well be the case, according to The New York Sun:
The school favored to host the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Dallas’s Southern Methodist University, may encounter a snag next week in the form of a lawsuit alleging that the school has improperly seized local homes in order to secure land for the proposed library site.
Amid increasing outrage among Republicans over the use of eminent domain and other coercive measures to obtain private property for public projects, a case in Dallas County’s 134th Civil District Court, which is set to begin on Tuesday, will determine whether the university violated its legal obligations to local homeowners in an effort to secure the land currently occupied by the University Gardens condominium complex, a potential library site.
“They’re taking my home,” said Gary Vodicka, one of the litigants and a University Gardens owner and resident, yesterday.
SMU excuses their actions, stating the land deal is unrelated to the presidential library. Whether it is for the library or not, that does not excuse these allegations:
“To acquire the land to build the Bush Library they have breached numerous legal obligations, they’ve intimidated, misrepresented things, kicked old people out of their homes,” said Mr. Vodicka, who owns four units in the complex. “It’s amazing to see how ruthless a Christian university can be.”
There are four schools being considered for the presidential library, and SMU is the favored institution on the list. What really perplexes me is why they need a presidential library in the first place, since all the the material to be contained inside will likely be classified. If something does remain unclassified, one can expect the Homeland Security goons to stop any efforts to retrieve information, anyway.
The next time a Republican tells you he is opposed to eminent domain abuse, simply ask him to explain the actions of his chief elephant.