Imagine being on the edge of your seat for some 20 years. It’s a long time to wait for anything, especially about whether you can keep doing business on your own property.
That’s what Karen Haug and her company, Advance Shoring, have endured since the early ’90s. That was when the port authority of St. Paul, Minnesota announced plans to grab the company’s property for somebody else’s private use.
Advance Shoring, founded by Haug’s father in 1960, has been fighting the grab ever since.
The port authority has now officially abandoned its plan, agreeing to seek to acquire the property only by voluntary means. Haug says: “I’m breathing a sigh of relief for our business and employees. . . . Now we can return to running our business.”
As so often in battles to protect innocent Americans against eminent domain abuse, some credit must go to the Institute for Justice. In publicly heralding the port authority’s decision, Lee McGrath, of IJ’s Minnesota chapter, urged city officials to recognize that “the port authority’s past uses of eminent domain are now illegal under Minnesota’s 2006 reforms,” and to strip the port authority of its power to condemn properties.
The port authority, for its part, seems annoyed that there’s been publicity about its defeat. They say they’d been hoping to keep the matter quiet.
Poor fellows. I weep for them; crocodiles have such tears.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.