When the government has to sue its own bureaucracy you know you're dealing with a rotten system. I keep being told that the government is more accountable to the public than the free market. It appears the government isn't even accountable to itself! What do you think regular people can do against such a monster?When antitrust met eminent domain
Last week, a judge in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, dismissed one of the stranger antitrust cases of recent years. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania sued one of its own political subdivisions in federal court under federal antitrust law. The underlying dispute involves eminent domain. The subsequent litigation demonstrates the dangers of reacting out-of-context to the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. New London.
In March 2005, a privately-owned parking garage near the Harrisburg International Airport was scheduled for seizure by the airport's operating authority, an entity created by seven local governments under state law. The airport invoked eminent domain without articulating a specific use for the garage. According to the garage's owner and Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, the airport has no need for the land and simply wanted to eliminate private competition with airport-owned parking facilities.
The garage had already filed a petition in state court challenging the eminent domain action when Attorney General Corbett filed a federal lawsuit against the airport authority. Corbett said the taking of the garage violated the Sherman Act by attempting to monopolize the parking services market in and around the airport. The airport replied that since it was a subdivision of the Commonwealth, it was immune from antitrust suit under the Supreme Court's decision in Parker v. Brown (1943), which exempts most “state action” from the Sherman Act.