There’s a reason the world hates lawyers, but in reality, the world should be more upset at politicians who generally confuse politically driven lawyers as task masters that are useful, but neither committed to the laws they write or willing to back them under divergent scenarios.
Take eminent domain for example. Even after San Bernardino County, Calif., gave up on the idea of allowing government officials to use eminent domain to disrupt investors' interest in mortgages for the purposes of giving homeowners principal reductions, other counties have been apparently considering the idea in California.
What’s odd though is another eminent domain-related bill is getting slammed in Colorado because it would allow oil pipeline companies to have eminent domain and condemnation rights in certain scenarios where they need to expand their operations. That particular bill never made it out of committee because the terms frightened lawmakers who remain attached to the idea of not toying with property rights.
That’s a fair assessment – the idea that intervening in property rights is a fundamental violation of the original contract and the very nature of ownership.
Yet, somehow when it comes to eminent domain on the housing side, the drum beat continues with little objection to the idea that knocking out investors' interest is noble and efficient.
What proponents of eminent domain forget to ask themselves is whether they would back the same view under a different type of scenario.
The Colorado House panel’s killing of the oil-related eminent domain bill shows it's unlikely they would.