(October 2005) Univ. of Central Arkansas Business Law Professor Roy Whitehead, Jr., author of a recent journal article on eminent domain and property rights, will discuss the issue at a Nov. 3 Policy Foundation luncheon in Little Rock. The luncheon will start at 11:45 a.m. at the Cheers on Broadway restaurant in the Lyon Building, adjacent to the Metropolitan Bank Tower (Capitol and Brodway), north of the Interstate-630 exit.

Prof. Whitehead is the author, with UCA President Lu Hardin, J.D., of the article, “Government Theft: The Taking Of Private Property To Benefit The Favored Few.” The article was published in the Winter 2004 issue of the Virginia-based George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal. (http://www.law.gmu.edu/gmucrlj/)

White and Hardin provide an overview of the subject in their introduction:

“One of the most contentious issues facing local and state government is the taking of private property to convey it to another private entity for the development of a shopping center, baseball park, industrial site, or some other use deemed advantageous to the well-being of the community. Often the reason advanced is that the public will benefit from the proposed taking by an increased tax base or the removal of a blighted part of town. This is said to be a public use. Sadly, the definition of public use has grown to include almost any use that meets a developer’s or local politician’s political and social agenda.”

White and Hardin conclude the term “public use” means “that the public must receive a direct benefit from the taking and has the right to unimpeded access to the taken property.”

Admission to the Nov. 3 luncheon is free, but attendees are responsible for the cost of their meal. Please RSVP (501.537.0825) prior to Nov. 1 so we can arrange parking validation for you in the structure beneath the Metropolitan Bank Tower.