Bad News

A horrible, horrible Supreme Court ruling today on eminent domain powers. By a 5-4 vote, SCOTUS allowed localities to take private property away for no better reason than added tax collections:

A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights.

The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who has been a key swing vote on many cases before the court, issued a stinging dissent. She argued that cities should not have unlimited authority to uproot families, even if they are provided compensation, simply to accommodate wealthy developers.

This is a dreadful decision. If politicians have the right to take your private property and give it to somebody else just because the other guy claims that he can generate more taxes from it, then property rights have ceased to exist in the US.

The localities are still required to pay “a just price” when one of these takings occurs, but the price even a willing seller would be able to get from his property just took a huge hit. All a developer has to do now is make a lowball offer and threaten to involve a bought-and-paid-for politician to take the property away if the owner doesn’t acquiesce.

Disgraceful.

UPDATE: Imagine this. What if you were in an unrelated fight with your local city council over something. Maybe you had a problem with your kids’ school, or a tax dispute, or you were complaining about a dumb law, or you just spilled a drink on some councilman at the local bar. This ruling would literally give them the power to throw you out of your house and put up a strip mall in its place. And that doesn’t even touch on the prospects of developers making campaign donations–or outright kickbacks–to local politicians.

This ruling is a license for corruption and abuse.

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159 Responses to “Bad News”

  1. Will Allen Says:

    This is beyond disgusting. Does the Bill of Rights need to be re-passed, except with an additional sentence; “This time we really, really, mean it!”?

  2. OsamaBLaden Says:

    Just wait until a city tries to take a widow’s house to make room for…oh, wait , that’s already happened (Atlantic City NJ).

  3. Eric J Says:

    I think the word “fascist” may be accurately applied in this case.

  4. The World According to Nick Says:

    The Burden of Proof is Shifting

    The Supreme Court just screwed the individual again. This time they have ruled that New London can take property from one private owner, and give it to another private owner… simply because the city said they can use the land better. The land was n…

  5. amy Says:

    This ruling makes me sick! There are actual families being kicked out of their homes for an OFFICE COMPLEX?!? WTF? Did I fall asleep in America and wake up in some other country?

  6. Nate Says:

    All your base are belong to us

  7. Robin Roberts Says:

    There’s your “living Constitution” for you. Just read “for public use” right out of the Fifth Amendment.

  8. Salt Lick Says:

    O’Connor may have dissented on this one, but the doddering old bat supported affirmative action on a similar statist rationale — society needs a pool of well-trained workers.

    The high court’s recent intellectual trajectory simply does not see individual Americans as more important than the nation’s collective needs.

  9. Will Allen Says:

    Is Justice Kennedy a golfer? Maybe some city can condemn 150 acres of nice land for him, for his own personal pleasure, and the rest of us can re-gain our property rights after he retires to the links.

  10. Lt. Dan Says:

    The Second Amendment becomes more precious by the day….

  11. Cynical Nation Says:

    This conservative, right-wing court is destroying *all* our rights!! Well, at least we had some brave dissenters on this one, like O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas.

  12. Physics Geek Says:

    F*ck!

    Shit on a fucking stick. I can’t even read this SCOTUS decision without cursing, so you’ll forgive me if I rant and rave on this blog. Or you won’t. Either way, I’ll sleep fine at night. Excerpt: The Supreme Court…

  13. Sharp as a Marble Says:

    All your base are belong to Uncle Sam

  14. Bryan's Basement Says:

    Dangerous expansion of eminent domain

    Eminent domain is the legal justification by which the government can seize private properrty. I’ve always hated the idea, but I must admit that it’s occasionally necessary, provided it’s done rarely, there’s fair market value compensation, and it’s on…

  15. knoxgirl Says:

    Truly scary.

    Anything for tax revenue.

  16. rbj Says:

    It seems like Thomas is the only Justice who’s actually familiar with the Constitution. Yet another horrid decision by the Court this term. BCRA, Med. Mari. and now this. Definitely need to repass the whole thing, with underlining and italics and bolding.

  17. doug quarnstrom Says:

    Eminent domain is, in and of itself, oppressive. I don’t think this ruling is inconsistent with the logic of it. If it is ok for the government to take your property for the public good, all they need to do is say that higher tax revenues are obviously a public good. Eminent domain is the travesty in and of itself. This expansion is consistent with the logic in my opinion, but it still makes me want to weep in frustration.

    doug

  18. Arguing with signposts... Says:

    SCOTUS: *!@%$@#$ property rights

    Update II: I’ve moved this post to the top of the page. Please check out the other voices at the bottom of the post.

    Update: The opinions are here (h/t SCOTUSblog)

    The Supreme Court has ruled that cities can seize homes through eminent domain for…

  19. rightnumberone Says:

    This will produce two things, right quick:

    1) political campaign donation-bribes are about to go into freaking OVERDRIVE. This is the best decision any sitting politician has EVER, EVER seen. Developers are about to start lining pockets like they are going out of style.

    2) the biggest land grab since the $11 bucks we paid the Indians for Manhattan is about to take place.

    Learn how Stephen Bainbridge saved a dollar at RightNumberOne.

  20. OldController Says:

    The Supreme Court Blows It

    The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.

  21. ProfessorBainbridge.com Says:

    The Government Won Kelo

    From CNN:The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses — even against their will — for private economic development. So much for private property rights. Kennedy and Souter voted with the majority,…

  22. Jon G Says:

    This just another nail (all be it a rather large one) in the coffin of personal property rights. Combine this with enviromental rules and regulations (ie wetlands and protected species) and you quickly realize that you can have your property and do with as you please up until the government decides they would like to do something else with it.

    Just sad… I’m sure the founding fathers are spinning in their graves…

  23. ResurrectionSong Says:

    Theft (The Government Way)

    Eminent domain wins a big victory, actual ownership of property loses big. Apparently, it really is okay for your city to take your house away, forcing you to sell it to another private buyer. Who knew? I had naively believed that this case would co…

  24. Brain Shavings Says:

    Say goodbye to property rights

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in…

  25. Swanky Conservative Says:

    Supreme Court rules property right a thing of the past

    To the Supreme Court and all governments, local state and federal:

    Pejman’s take.
    Professor Bainbridge’s thoughts on it.
    Michelle says, “Your home is not your castle”.
    Glenn calls the Supreme Court “statist”.
    Bad…

  26. erp Says:

    Another reason if anyone here needs one that putting conservatives on the Supreme Court is the most important part of a president’s job. Nominate someone who will sail though the process and you get a Kennedy or O’Connor.

    Better to replace Frist with someone willing to go mano a mano with the despicable Rino’s and disgraceful Democrats and seat some Justices who will use the U.S. Constitution as the basis of their rulings.

    I haven’t read the case, but I’m sure it was couched with phrases like urban blight removal and improved social services. In fact, because Pfizer is a decent company, homeowners may even be making out well on this deal, but that doesn’t change the wrongness of the decision because the next time it may not be a responsible company demanding to take private property.

  27. russ Says:

    I guess since this ruling by and large takes out the back half of the 5th amendment one can only wonder when the front half of the same amendment bites the dust too…

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

  28. Hold The Mayo Says:

    I Used To Own A House

    You and I no longer own homes. We occupy them. We pay the bank every month for the privilege of living there as long as the government wants to let us.

  29. Bob Says:

    Although it’s not a fix for the problem, I can think of at least one way to make one’s displeasure known in a fully legal way. When you learn of a company considering moving into one of the office parks that’s built on land that used to be someone’s home, shame them. Picketing is good. Do the same if someone builds a mall, and then, for heaven’s sake, don’t shop there!

    I also think this is a fantastically bad decision, and goes way beyond idiotic. Almost makes you think again about the line that goes something like “when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds that tie them to another.”

  30. The Anchoress Says:

    SCOTUS: Your local gov’t knows what’s best for you

    The Supreme Court has sided with developers over private homeowners. As my Brit friends say, I’m gobsmacked.

    This particular line by Justice Stevens really rankled:

    Writing for the court, Justice John Paul Stevens said local officials, not fede…

  31. Narcissistic views on News/Politics Says:

    Supreme Court: All your land doesn’t belong to you

    Nice to see that the Supreme Court zeal for looking at international laws and precedents as a basis for making rulings in America now extends to Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe must be proud.

  32. Supreme Court: All your land doesn't belong to you Says:

    Supreme Court: All your land doesn’t belong to you

    Nice to see that the Supreme Court zeal for looking at international laws and precedents as a basis for making rulings in America now extends to Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe must be proud.

  33. Brain Fertilizer Says:

    Property (Lack Of) Rights

    There’s a great deal of hyperbole right now afloat around the blogosphere in regards to this decision. It’s all justified. Well-justified. The people responsible for this travesty? I’m glad you asked: John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter…

  34. denise Says:

    Haven’t read the opinions yet, and need to, but there is more to economic development than just tax revenue (at least from the point of view of the citizens, if not the actual governmental entity). Most important is job creation.

    Also, for those who favor local control, this decision does have that going for it, and it leaves decisions in the hands of legislative bodies rather than the judicial branch. Elected officials should be answerable for any egregious abuses (not that they always will be of course).

    And I do know there are real abuses: I have read about cities in California condemning churches to build Costco stores. On the other hand, say a big manufacturer wants to build a plant somewhere. I’m not sure I have a problem with using eminent domain to take care of a greedy holdout and his mobile home. To me there need to be value judgments based on the particulars of a situation — which is just the kind of decisions we generally don’t want judges making.

    Disclaimer again: I need to actually read the opinions before I decide whether or not I’m satisfied.

  35. Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0 Says:

    Gov’t Wins Kelo

    Sigh. The reactions from the blogosphere about this are all predictably cogent (see here, here and here, for instance), but the thing that really chaps my hide about the logic underlying this whole magilla is the argument that the forced…

  36. Right Wing News Says:

    Private Property Rights Under Siege By Stephen Bainbridge

    From CNN The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses — even against…

  37. charles austin Says:

    Lord, save us from those that continue to think it is the government’s function to create jobs.

  38. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: All
    RE: Time for Another Impeachment

    This time of Supreme Court Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer.

    No home-owner or business owner who owns his store, is safe as long as this ruling stands.

    I’ve got a major hospital oggling my property and that of my neighbors.

    I counsel all to contact their entire congressional delegation, representative and both senators to call for the immediate impeachment of these cretins.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  39. Blogs of War Says:

    Supreme Court Eviscerates the Notion of Private Property Rights in America

    Have a home on nice corner lot? Better hope that a fast food chain doesn’t take an interest in it. Live near an airport? Holiday Inn would love to build a high-rise hotel where your home now stands. Corrupt, cheaply bought, local officials hold your fa…

  40. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Stephen Green
    RE: Exactly

    ” Imagine this. What if you were in an unrelated fight with your local city council over something…. This ruling would literally give them the power to throw you out of your house and put up a strip mall in its place. And that doesn’t even touch on the prospects of developers making campaign donations–or outright kickbacks–to local politicians.

    This ruling is a license for corruption and abuse.”

    The City Fathers already winches when I show up at their regularly scheduled meetings. And 3 out of 7 of them are involved in real estate business.

    This has to be overthrown and quickly. Otherwise, if it sets in, we’ll never be safe again.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  41. Right Side of the Rainbow Says:

    BREAKING: MAJOR LOSS TO PROPERTY OWNERS

    Supreme Court hands down Kelo decision — homeowners lose: WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in com…

  42. Will Allen Says:

    Denise, the problem with such a definition of public use is similar to that problem in how the Court now defines interstate commerce. Such definitions allow nearly any human activity to follow under the heading of “interstate commerce”, or “public use”. I guess I missed the part of the document where it states that taking private property for another citizen’s profit generation was allowable if the property owner is excessively greedy. Maybe somebody can point it out to me.

  43. voxdilecti Says:

    you’ve got to be kidding me…
    Unfortunately, I know it isnt the first of April.

  44. Brett Says:

    Thieves.

  45. Garrett Says:

    You guys remember the movie Harry’s War? That’s me when/if they come to take my house to build a goddamn shopping mall.

    I am so beyond livid I can’t think of a stronger synonym for livid.

  46. rbj Says:

    Can we get Congress to drop the flippin’ flag burning amendment and take up a “public use is only for traditional government use, and not transfer property from one private owner to another private owner” amendment. (sorry I can’t get good wording for it.)

  47. charles austin Says:

    If the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution (aka the Bill of Rights) can so casually be tossed asidefor what can most charitably called utilitarianism, why does anyone think that having another amendment is going to fix the problem?

    The individualist driven philosphical pursuit of happiness has just been supplanted with a communitarian policy of utilitarianism by oligarchical fiat.

    Sorry Mr. Franklin, it appears we couldn’t keep it.

  48. Bill Chadwick Says:

    A dreadful decision indeed; but not without the prospect for some laughs. I am looking forward to when local fascisti start seizing the homes of middle-class, pseudo-liberal “Bobos.” Then I can give them a Nelson Buntz-like “Ha-ha!” followed by an Edward G. Robinson-like, “Where’s yer ‘for the greater good of society’ NOWWWWWW?”

  49. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: rbj
    RE: Yes….

    “Can we get Congress to drop the flippin’ flag burning amendment and take up a “public use is only for traditional government use, and not transfer property from one private owner to another private owner” amendment…” — rbj

    …we can. But it would be easier to impeach these cretinous bastards.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  50. MatthewMaynard.net Says:

    SCOTUS Roundup

    The Supreme Court issued a set of rulings today, summarized & opinionated below. Main story filed over at SCOTUSBlog.

    Kelo vs. New London: New London can seize property by condemning it, despite the 5th amendment’s guarantee that no one …

  51. Marty Ridge Says:

    I keep thinking of the consruction worker in Bugs Bunny Cartoon, Bugs was persistant to say the least.

    Still had his hole in he ground and a building in his back forty when all was said and done.

  52. Angry in the Great White North Says:

    The Canadian government does not tolerate freelancers

    Americans should be worried. In Canada, the Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the 1982 Charter of Rights didn’t included property rights, and that the government can take anything, anytime, from anyone, no compensation required. They already took mill…

  53. Miss O'Hara Says:

    Liberty Tree Looking Parched

  54. Tim P Says:

    This decision eviscerates any property rights individual citizens have.

    As Sandra Day O’Conner said, “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random,” O’Connor further wrote, “The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.”

    Furthermore, look at the 5-4 split. Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, Bader-Ginsburg & Stevens voted for it. Rhenquist, Scalia, Thomas & O’Conner voted against it. O’Conner wrote the dissenting opinion.

    If this doesn’t clarify the so called left-liberal vs. right-center mindset, nothing ever will.

    It boils down to the rights of the individual being paramount, or the right of the state being the highest priority, with individual and property rights being inviolable only so long as they are convenient for the state.

    This is the worst decision the supreme court has issued in quite a long time. It will further corrupt our government.

    Write your congressional delegation immediately and raise a stink.

  55. Random Numbers Says:

    Over My Dead Body!

    Amendment V – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the la…

  56. Physics Geek Says:

    F*ck!

    Shit on a fucking stick. I can’t even read this SCOTUS decision without cursing, so you’ll forgive me if I rant and rave on this blog. Or you won’t. Either way, I’ll sleep fine at night. Excerpt: The Supreme Court…

  57. Half Canadian Says:

    “Plessy vs Ferguson” watch out. There’s a new candidate for worst SCOTUS decision ever.

  58. Triton'sPolarTiger Says:

    Well, holy hell.

    As long as this stands, we are no longer secure in our own homes.

    If government has legal sanction to take your property for the sake of increasing tax revenues, by force if necessary, then you are nothing more than a renter. Economic enhancement, you say? Fer cryin’ out LOUD. What renter spends money at Home Depot to renovate an apartment kitchen?

    Unfortunately, too few of our fellow citizens give a tinker’s damn about “politics” to rouse themselves from their places in front of “Entertainment Tonight” or the various reality shows to participate in the ultimate reality show: LIFE.

    At what point will sufficient numbers of citizens care to make a difference? Is a tipping point even attainable any more?

    If this stands, put a fork in the country the Founders died for, because it’s done.

    Time to plan an exit.

  59. Cliff Styles Says:

    Corrupt local politicians, unscrupulous developers, and all their fellow travelers are breaking out the champagne today. While the champagne flows, an orgy of rent-seeking behavior will be sketched out by smooth power mad men and women in the gleaming boardrooms of corporations and the tawdry sterility of local bureaucracies. Those damnably pesky property rights will not be such an obstacle in the future.

    This decision, by a few aging liberals on the Supreme Court, is yet another nail in the coffin of American ‘Liberalism’.

    The key question is who will rule the Republicans – the big government or small government types. The small government types have been handed a tremendously emotional political issue to run with. The big government types have been handed a tremendously seductive violation of the deepest intention of the Constitution.

    What will they do? Who will win?

    The blogosphere, with its libertarian leanings, local knowledge and national audience is uniquely positioned to exercise a positive influence.

    A final irony: this Supreme Court decision is in direct contrast to what is happening in ‘communist’ China, where laws governing property rights have been advancing, and specifically as a method to reduce corruption at the local level.

    And a final question: what are the implications for other forms of property, specifically intellectual property?

  60. Dave in FL Says:

    What a sad day for our country. I am reminded of President Lincoln

  61. Caerdroia Says:

    Bye Bye Private Property

    In the ongoing obliteration of the written Constitution, the Supreme Court has rendered the 5th amendment meaningless. (More here) I haven’t seen the actual decision and dissent yet, but it’s clear from the articles that the Supreme Court has just deci…

  62. Major John Says:

    WTF?! How in God’s name is handing over somebody’s HOME to a private office builder a “public use??” More taxes generated?! That means nothing is safe, all you have to argue is that what you will replace will have something more “valuable” in its place. Bah.

  63. Darren Says:

    Here is how I look at the whole “just compensation” as a notion to justify theft under eminent domain: Try this analogy: If a woman is raped, is it justified if the rapist throws a $50 at her when he is done because “that’s the going rate out on the street”. This just blows my mind…..

  64. OKIE on the LAM™ - In LA Says:

    SCOTUS — “Your House Is Needed for the Collective!”

    I don’t own my own home right now, but I did at one time in the past. Today’s Supreme Court ruling that virtually destroys individual property rights in the United States is a terrifying abuse of power. Eminent domain has been used often to acquire pro…

  65. Rod Stanton Says:

    The ruling is what one would expect from the liberal court. It really is in line with most of the other pro big government, pro criminal rulings of the last several years.
    One mre reason to get Dr. Frist up to speed as amanager.
    had they sided with individual rights I would have been surprised.

  66. Will Allen Says:

    Glenn Reynolde is 100% right on this; the GOP’s response will indicate whether it has sided with the economic freedom advocates, or real estate developers. Gee whiz, anybody wanna take a bet on this contest?

  67. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Half Canadian
    RE: Actually….

    “”Plessy vs Ferguson” watch out. There’s a new candidate for worst SCOTUS decision ever.” — Half Canadian

    ….I think Baker v. Carr (’61) was the worst, after Dredd Scott.

    Baker v. Carr destroyed the balance of power in the state legislatures

  68. Geo W Says:

    This throws new light on Pat Robertson’s comments a few months ago, for which he was roundly ridiculed, that he feared an out-of-control judiciary more than the terrorists. I’m not a fan of his and he’s said some strange things, but in this case I though he had a point: Perhaps he had trust that any foreign enemy could not defeat us or change our way of life fundamentally, while we could not protect ourselves from our own institutions if the individuals comprising those institutions went off on the wrong track. Like gutting the Fifth Amendment, for example.

    Here in The O.C. California, there have been two cases in recent years that highlight the danger, now increased by the SCOTUS, that we now face. In one, the city of Cypress wanted to give land owned by a church, Cottonwood Cristian Center I believe, to Costco to get more taxes. Yes, even in ultra-conservative Orange County, local governments were trying this crap. Eventually a deal was made to swap land parcels, but the decision was not made on principle.

    Also, the city of Garden Grove (near Disneyland and Anaheim Convention Center, etc.) wanted to bulldoze modest homes and I think a moble home park, where people have lived for 40 years or more, to build a theme park or hotels to cash in on the resort/convention business in the nearby area. It failed, but again, I don’t think it was because the city realized it was wrong to do so. I think the bad publicity got them (but I could be wrong on that specific).

    What happens when they decide your perfectly nice, tho modest home should be replaced with a McMansion built by a developer, so as to get around the Proposition 13 limits on property tax increases? Cal. governments, public employee unions, etc. have been railing against that for over 20 years, and repeated attempts are made to change it to exclude businesses, apartments, etc. This decisin gives them all carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want. To you.

    If disgruntled employees sometimes shoot up their former place of business over losing a job, I fear how angry and unhinged some people will be after losing their beloved home or family farm to GreedCo.

    This is a sad and frightening day for America.

  69. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Geo W
    RE: Ouch!

    “This throws new light on Pat Robertson’s comments a few months ago, for which he was roundly ridiculed, that he feared an out-of-control judiciary more than the terrorists.” — Geo W

    Target! Cease fire…..

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  70. The LLama Butchers Says:

    Just Because I’m A RINO Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Get Cranky

    Flag burning amendment? Save your breath. Over the top anti-Hillary screeds? Meh. But SCOTUS gutting the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause? Bad! Bad! Bad! I’m jumping right in on this one with Michelle and Prof. Bainbridge. This is the equivalent of…

  71. cliff Says:

    The Kelo decision respects Property Rights the same way the Plessey decision respected Civil Rights.

    This is the fourth worst Supreme court decision, ever. (The first being Plessy, the second being Dredd Scott, the third being the whatever the Supremes deicde the next time they consider the Second Amendment.)

  72. MikeT Says:

    All this ruling has basically done for businesses is made it possible for the big guys to just point, click and delete competition.

  73. Dr. Fager Says:

    I think it’s a horrible ruling too BUT, as I posted on another blog, payment of just compensation can go as far as a jury trial. And who do juries favor?

    You can’t stop them from taking your property but you can get a good condemnation lawyer and make them pay through the nose.

  74. The Red Stater Says:

    HELL NO!

    The SCOTUS has made an epic decision today, but no one in their right mind would see this as a well-thought out decision.

  75. Baronger Says:

    Where is homeland security, if we don’t have home security?

  76. The Crusty Curmudgeon Says:

    Welcome to the new feudalism

    If you thought that the Terri Schiavo case represented the worst sort of judicial tyranny in the United States, think again.

  77. protein wisdom Says:

    ATTACK OF THE JUDICIAL NANNYSTATE

    That's right, the Supreme Court has just codified the government's right to seize private property for "the public good" -- which, in the case of Connecticut, means tearing down the homes people have made for themselves t…

  78. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Dr. Fager
    RE: Just Compensation

    “I think it’s a horrible ruling too BUT, as I posted on another blog, payment of just compensation can go as far as a jury trial.” — Dr. Fager

    I guess it depends on where one lives.

    In Colorado (Arvada), someone had their successful business ‘condemned’ for WalMart (or some other sort of operation) to put in a PARKING LOT.

    The state supreme court rejected the idea. Now, it looks like this poor sap is going to have to take whatever SOMEONE ELSE decides is ‘fair’.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  79. Will Allen Says:

    Well, deciding that growing wheat on one’s own property, for one’s own consumption, constituted interstate commerce, has got to be on the list as well.

  80. Bostonian Says:

    Much of the Left is conniptions over this, too, properly.

    But they cannot be made to see that this ruling is a logical conclusion of their own philosophy. They really think it’s some kind of aberration, and they don’t understand why they “happen” to agree with the conservative justices here.

    A small minority of the Left seems to laud this decision, apparently thinking a new “right” has been given to the people.

    Idiots.

  81. pb Says:

    Let us remember that despite the so-called “Reagan Revolution,” 1994s “Republican Revolution,”
    and that today Republicans are the majority party, that they are administering a New Deal/Great Society government. While Republicans have been able to win elections, they have not been able to institute a Revolution in Political Affairs that would liberate us from the New Deal/Great Society.

    This is a conflict between Government Interventionists & Civil Societists. Statists & Individualists.

    So what is our strategy now? How do we proceed? Those of us who support individual liberty, limited gov’t, private property rights etc, need to become institution builders. We need to make documentary films, write books, articles, op-eds, bumper stickers, posters etc. We need to create endlessly proliferating institutions of liberty from activist groups, publishing houses, film production companies, whatever. Institute of Justice, Cato, FIRE, etc are good but not enough. We must flood the zone with the ideas of liberty and individualism. The left is way ahead of us in this regard. We must learn from them in order to defeat them. Otherwise freedom is lost. Let’s Roll…

  82. erp Says:

    Why only look at this only as big business taking over property and putting the little guy out of business?

    That’s only part of it. I see this as a green light for social engineering on a massive scale. Put up a workers’ paradise in the middle of Millionaire Row. Isn’t that the liberals dream.

  83. Houston's Problem Says:

    I propose that any and all homes owned in full or in part by Kennedy, Souter, Breyers, Stevens, and Ginsberg be immediately taken under emminent (or is that premminent) domain and turned into law schools dedicated to teaching what the constitution actually means.

  84. rich Says:

    goddammit. shit. fuck. and every other anglo-saxonism i can think of! it’s time to take the musket down off of the mantle.

  85. azlibertarian Says:

    I’m wondering if the 5 Justices in this matter (not to mention the next local governing body) will feel any responsibility the next time this happens.

  86. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: azlibertarian
    RE: The Next Time

    “I’m wondering if the 5 Justices in this matter (not to mention the next local governing body) will feel any responsibility the next time this happens.” — azlibertarian

    At the local level…

    …the best defense is a strong offense; seize control of the City Council NOW by getting YOUR people elected.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  87. rickl Says:

    I’ve said this before elsewhere, but it bears repeating: This is the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott–bar none. This is an absolute atrocity. It throws private property rights out the window.

    And this is precisely the reason why there is a Second Amendment.

  88. FRNM Says:

    One wonders at what point those so inclined to take other’s property will learn they can shop around for a government entity to approve their eminent domain.

    When will we see cities facing off with counties over just which team of developers gets to take your property?

    How long will it be before we see lawsuits aimed at COMPELLING local governments to accept projects that can be proven to increase the tax base?

    Much like the recent spate of state laws allowing private concerns to propose, build and administer new toll roads, will we see those same concerns branching out into social welfare, looking to improve newly discovered problem areas?

  89. Brian Macker Says:

    With this the constitution is officially dead. Private property rights are the heart of the philosophy this country was based on.

  90. a Says:

    The fifth amendment means no more and no less than the Fort Laramie treaty of 1868–both are the supreme law of the land.

    Who’s in possession of the Black Hills in South Dakota these days?

  91. rich Says:

    You’d think a Pharma company would know better than this. What if the government decides that a blockbuster drug patent should be taken over for the “public good?” Oh, that’s right, . . . some in the government are already threatening to do that.

  92. Cafe Oregano Says:

    this land was your land

    A disturbing opinion was handed down by the Supreme Court on Thursday in Kelo v. New London.Cities may bulldoze people’s homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development, a divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday, giving local governments…

  93. Bostonian Says:

    Why isn’t this the number 1 news item everywhere? I am baffled and sickened.

  94. jack white Says:

    The worst Supreme Court decisions always limit human freedom. Look at Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Bowers v. Hardawick, and Korematsu v. United States. The majorities on each of those case always will be reviled.

    The five justices who formed the Kelo majority will be remembered in the same light as their predecessors who enslaved and oppressed millions. Fortunately, these five decrepit old fools will know in their lifetimes that their legacies are tarnished beyond salvage and they will be held up in a future–if we continue to have a democracy after this abomination–as examples of poor (I should say “evil”) jurists who stripped human beings of their basic rights.

    This isn’t a Left/Right issue at all. It is a simple matter of right and wrong. Once again, the USSC has sided with oppression and government brutality. In this age of instant analysis, instant history, and instant communication, these five disgraces to the law will know the low opinion generations will have of them. That’s not justice enough for the damage they have done, but at least they will know what future scholars and jurists will think about them.

    If any case should be used as a litmus test to prevent elevation to the federal appellate courts, this should be the one.

  95. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Bostonian
    RE: Why Not?

    “Why isn’t this the number 1 news item everywhere? I am baffled and sickened.” — Bostonian

    It’s #1 in the blogosphere. It’s #1 at Drudge.

    Glenn Reynolds reports that the NYT is FOR the decision.

    I think those are all key indicators of the utility of the so-called main-stream media.

    Welcome to the revolution, man.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  96. jack white Says:

    I don’t think the MSM neglect of this story can be attributed to the usual motives like liberal bias and corporate ownership. No, this simply shows how irrelevant stories like a missing person can trump a ruling as profound and dangerous as this one. Also, most contemporary reporters and editors are clueless about the law and ignorant on a wide range of issues, so it shouldn’t be a surprise they fail to grasp this story’s import.

  97. The Tweezer's Edge Says:

    Little Pink Ponies

    Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Kelo vs. New London that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses for private development, declaring that it was a “public use” within the scope of the 5th Amendment of the…

  98. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: jack white
    RE: The MSM Cant

    “I don’t think the MSM neglect of this story can be attributed to the usual motives like liberal bias and corporate ownership.” — jack white

    I disagree. This ruling makes home-ownership nei impossible, except for the elite who hold political power.

    Everyone else has to rent. It’s like Pournelle’s vision of life on Earth as part of the CoDominium.

    From my perspective, home-ownership is the foundation of the proverbial American Dream. This ruling destroys that foundation. The so-called major media agree with [Note: Now I see reports that the WaPo is singing the same song as the NYT.] because it makes the lower class people, the unpropertied middle and lower class, more reliant on the nanny-state.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  99. jack white Says:

    Chuck,

    I wish you were right, but I’m afraid you aren’t. I use “afraid” because MSM bias is something we expect, but profound ignorance and cluelessness is a new phenomenon.

    Yes, the NYT and WaPO establishment Left will support this opinion, but liberals in general are about as outraged as conservatives, and the other media outlets seem not to grasp why this story is important. You are right about home ownership, but that effects people of all stripes and ideologies. No, your average editor and reporter these days are the mental equivalent of roadkill. Unfortunately, it is that simple.

  100. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: jack white
    RE: There IS a Difference

    “Yes, the NYT and WaPO establishment Left will support this opinion, but liberals in general are about as outraged as conservatives, and the other media outlets seem not to grasp why this story is important.” — jack white

    The NYT and WaPo are corporations. Not home-owners. And, as some 17th Century English judge put it….

    “They [corporations] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.” — Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1628

    Liberals, despite my occassional observance, do have a soul. And, in many cases, own homes that are not at risk. Hence a lot of liberal individuals are going to be upset about this ruling.

    Meanwhile, the souless corporations that support nanny-state politcs are going to like it, for the reason I stated earlier.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  101. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. And I think the corporations are looking for new property to buy…cheap. Have the city call it ‘blighted’, raze it and move in.

    Lileks demonstrates this in a pictoral essay at….http://www.lileks.com/mpls/modern/deadburb/index.html and says…

    “Government can do that, you know. One day your house is your home, the place where you

  102. jack white Says:

    Meanwhile, the souless corporations that support nanny-state politcs are going to like it, for the reason I stated earlier.

    _____________

    We agree here. I don’t agree, though, that the MSM has missed this story out of deliberate bias. In fact, I hope I am wrong on that score. When ignorant and clueless people hold the keys to dissemination of information to most Americans, we are in deep shit. And we are up to our eyeballs these days.

  103. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: jack white
    RE: The Blind Leading the Blind

    “When ignorant and clueless people hold the keys to dissemination of information to most Americans, we are in deep shit. ” — jack white

    Or soon will be.

    However, I don’t think the editors-in-chief at these major corporations are totally clueless or total idiots. Out of touch? Maybe. However, I see a pattern of behavior that indicates something nefarious. Pardon my paranoia, but a healthy sense of paranoia has kept me alive during my career in the military. [Note: Some people really ARE “out to get you”.] And that sense of watching what is going on around me and determining what is the intention of those ‘other people’ has proven rather effective in the civilian world of power politics and corporate enterprise.

    People say there are no such things as ‘conspiracies’. But, every day, that is what happens in corporate board rooms. Or have you forgotten Enron so soon?

    NYT and WaPo are such corporations.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [You used to call me ‘paranoid’…. — Billy Joel]

  104. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. As a wise old colonel told this (then) young captain….

    There are two ways to exercise power. The first, and most effective, is to make decisions for people that they would be better off making for themselves. The second, and yet very effective, is to withhold information from people that would allow them to make good decisions for themselves.

    I see the NYT and WaPo as important tools in the exercise of the second method.

  105. jack white Says:

    People say there are no such things as ‘conspiracies’. But, every day, that is what happens in corporate board rooms. Or have you forgotten Enron so soon?

    NYT and WaPo are such corporations.
    _______________________________

    Yes, they are. But as someone who once was in the belly of the MSM beast, I cannot emphasize enough the rank stupidity of many editors and reporters. I hope you are right and it is a conspiracy, but my gut tells me this hasn’t gotten the coverage it deserves simply because most of the MSM doesn’t grasp its import. And in a world where corporations and politicians do horrible things every day, that is also very, very frightening.

  106. Ben Says:

    It’s funny how so many people have completely bought into the right vs. left all out war coming from the extremists on both sides. Those citing the “liberal court” eviscerating individual rights in this case, where were you after Raich? Or, during the FMA debate… which is nothing more than taking rights away from some group? That’s the problem with unprincipled indealogues (Bush, Rove, Pelosi, Kennedy), they are for something until they are against it. You can’t be against individual rights (FMA and Raich) and then for them in the New London case. Once you get government going down that road of limiting individual liberty, you have screwed the pooch. Principles. The Repubs are just as bad as the Dems and the middle of the country should get off their ass and replace all of them until we have a truely representative government that is not ruled by special interests.

  107. Geoff Says:

    We should probably consider attending this:

    The Colorado Eminent Domain Activist Conference is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 6, 2005 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Denver-Aurora, 4444 N. Havana.

    Speakers include Steven Anderson, Castle Coalition Coordinator, Washington, D.C.; Joseph Becker, Staff Attorney, Mountain States Legal Foundation, Lakewood, CO; Sen. Shawn Mitchell, Colorado State Senator, Broomfield, CO; and Dave Minshall, Minshall Media Strategies, Centennial, CO. The meeting will be chaired by Tom Wambolt, Save Our Lake, Arvada, CO.

    Background
    The city of Arvada used eminent domain proceedings on a lake to make way for a big box store. The city of Wheat Ridge used eminent domain on several small business to make way for another national retail outlet. The city of Sheridan used eminent domain on a row of businesses and part of another city’s golf course to make way for a development. The city of Westminster used eminent domain proceedings to take away agriculture land from a pioneer family. The people on the eastern slope saw a huge portion of land being taken for a super toll road. Metropolitan Denver and suburbs will see eminent domain used along the FasTrack routes throughout the area.

    Purpose
    The conference will bring together eminent domain activists from across Colorado to exchange ideas and to discuss the necessary techniques and resources needed to fight abuses like these of eminent domain in their communities.

    For more details, contact Tom Wambolt, 6035 Garrison St, Arvada, CO 80004, 303-421-5668, email twambolt@denver.net

  108. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: jack white
    RE: Being There…

    “But as someone who once was in the belly of the MSM beast, I cannot emphasize enough the rank stupidity of many editors and reporters.” — jack white

    …it’s a Dilbertism

    I could say the same for the senior management of the RBOC I used to work for; US WEST. And even moreso for the cretins that took it over; Qwest and Carlyle Group.

    But they know what they are about. Their policies were stupid, from my perspective, but if you understand their ‘base’ (double-entendre fully intended) motivations it makes sense.

    “And in a world where corporations and politicians do horrible things every day, that is also very, very frightening.” — jack white

    Frightening?

    In one sense, only if one wasn’t expecting it.

    In another sense, only because many people do not have access to the blogosphere.

    Whatever their motivation, it is a disaster for their credibility that they are not covering this. And, it’s another opportunity for the blogosphere…

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [What they are telling you could be important. What they are NOT telling you can be vital.]

  109. jack white Says:

    Whatever their motivation, it is a disaster for their credibility that they are not covering this. And, it’s another opportunity for the blogosphere…

    _____________________________

    Thank God for the blogosphere. Sometimes I wonder if it didn’t result as a direct consequence of creeping statism like this case represents.
    _______________________________
    [What they are telling you could be important. What they are NOT telling you can be vital.]

    _______________________________

    This is very true, too. And what a wise person once told me along the same lines is true: what DOESN’T get polled is as important as what does. This won’t be, whatever the motivation. I can give you an example where the MSM wouldn’t conduct a poll due strictly to bias: Dick Durbin’s comments. But that’s the traditional crapola we expect, isn’t it?

  110. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: jack white
    RE: Not Polling This Matter

    “…a wise person once told me along the same lines is true: what DOESN’T get polled is as important as what does. This won’t be, whatever the motivation.” — jack white

    I see this as true. And I see their NOT polling it as an indicator of my previous statements about their nefarious behavior.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  111. My Sandmen Says:

    Confiscation, Inc…

    The labyrinth of bureaucracy can conceal innumerable injustices. And there is very little recourse in the courts with the SCOTUS decision offering a shield of legal precedent. What is afterall the nature of “public use?” By the time you litigate t…

  112. Cake Eater Chronicles Says:

    They Paved Paradise and Put Up A Parking Lot

    Not usually a big Joni Mitchell fan, but it seems appropriate in regards to this. The Supreme Court today effectively expanded the right of local governments to seize private property under eminent domain, ruling that people’s homes and businesses –…

  113. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. I think that NYT and WaPo are saying this is ‘inevitable’ in a psyops manuever. I also think that Donald “One Hand Clapping” Sensing is onto something when he says, “The churches will be next.”

    NYT and WaPo hate christianity. The cities will certainly go after churches to improve their tax-revenue. And this is the tool that will allow them to do so. The end result will be less christian influence in the community.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Welcome to the great apostacy. Enjoy the ride. It will be short and probably more painful that you think.]

  114. Matt Says:

    The Conservative Land Developers and Real Estate folks will love this.
    What irony.
    If any of you here invest in Real Estate you are most likely happy about this decision although you probably won’t admit it.

  115. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Matt
    RE: Invested

    “If any of you here invest in Real Estate….” — Matt

    I’m invested. But only in terms of the home I own. And I’m not happy.

    I think the people who are happy are not single home owners who reside in the property they own. The people who are happy are the cretins like Cedarford over on Vox Populi. He’s a developer.

    I think banks are happy too. Especially in light of the looming housing bubble. They’ll have LOTS of land that developers will be able to buy when that bubble busts.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  116. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. This ruling may be the prick to burst the bubble. Only the insane believers in the American Dream are going to want to invest in property that can be razed at the vote of a smiple majority on a city council.

  117. Doug Says:

    The sad truth of the matter is that this wasn’t really a radical departure from the law and is, in many ways, entirely consistent with previous eminent domain cases decided by the Court. The surprise would’ve been if the Court had gone the other way — but I guess a vote for freedom was too much to expect.

  118. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Doug
    RE: Not Radical

    “The sad truth of the matter is that this wasn’t really a radical departure from the law…” — Doug

    I disagree. Before, at least as far as I recognized it, eminent domain meant the government was taking the property for its own use.

    This says the government can take it for someone else’s private use. THAT is ‘radical’.

    If that’s not ‘radical’. You’re working with a different language than I am. Did you study under Clinton?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  119. jack white Says:

    The sad truth of the matter is that this wasn’t really a radical departure from the law and is, in many ways, entirely consistent with previous eminent domain cases decided by the Court.

    _____________________________

    I assume this in in reference to the urban redevelopment decisions. Even those opinions relied on the greater public good as their rationale. This decision is radical, hell, constitution-alerting, in that it relies on the ability of eminent domain to result in greater profits and taxes for a private entity. Now, this is what Il Duce and the current Chinese leadership endorse, and damned if it hasn’t arrived on our shores now.

    That fits my definition of a radical departure.

  120. Bostonian Says:

    Matt, I’m sure you enjoyed your swipe at conservatives and (I guess) business, but please do review WHO voted for this monstrosity and WHO voted against it.

    The conservatives on the SCOTUS voted against it, pal, and the SCOTUS liberals voted for it.

    Maybe it’s a little hard to get your mind around it, but this ruling is a direct, logical conclusion of LIBERAL thinking. It’s for the greater good, you see.

  121. Half Canadian Says:

    Chuckles, thanks for the comment. I’ll conceed that this may not be the worst, but we can agree that it’s in the top 5.

    What has to be of concern is that after the housing bubble pops, will local governments excersise eminent domain on homes that are worth less than they are mortgaged for? You could have families being thrown out of homes for less than they owe for it.
    All the more reason to be vigilant in local government.

  122. Between Worlds Says:

    Kelo Reactions

    There’s been an enormous uproar over this case lately, and for good reason. The liberal wing of the Supreme Court has in effect voted in favor of local statism, by ruling that eminent domain applies even in cases where the land is being marked for pr…

  123. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Half Canadian
    RE: Three Guesses….

    “What has to be of concern is that after the housing bubble pops, will local governments excersise eminent domain on homes that are worth less than they are mortgaged for?” — Half Canadian

    …first two don’t count.

    Or…in other words….yes. It’ll be the biggest land rush since the Oklahoma one of the 19th Century. And the banks, I’m sure, will get their business too.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  124. mike w Says:

    Here in California, local government can burn you financially three ways by forcing you off your property.

    First, developers, with help from local politicians force the owners to sell under duress with only one buyer and no competitive bids. The “fair” price is whatever the redevelopment agency decides to offer and undoubtedly will be less than the developer would have paid on his own.

    Second, such a private-public “partnership” often comes with generous tax abatements for the developer, with most of the profit opportunity flowing to the developer and most risk flowing to the taxpayer.

    Third, in California under Proposition 13, property tax is based on the purchase price of the property. You pay 1% of that price nnually, plus a few parcel taxes, and about 2% more annually thereafter.

    If you’ve owned your median – priced LA – area home for 25 years, you probably paid $100K for it and pay the county about $1500/year in property tax.

    Such a modest home now costs about $600K, and even if the developer paid you full replacement cost, the annual property tax on your replacement home will be over $6000/year.

    So just by creating a situation where a homeowner must purchase another home or business must relocate, local government gets a tax windfall.

  125. Matt Says:

    Bostonian
    Yes, true, the Liberals on the court voted for it. But that’s the irony here.

    My swipe at Conservatives is merely a way of pointed out that land developers I have known tend to be Republicans and they will most certainly like the potential that this ruling gives them.

    I don’t like the ruling a bit. And neither, in fact, do all Liberals and Democrat I have talked to about it.

  126. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Matt
    RE: Politics Makes Strange F— Buddies

    “…true, the Liberals on the court voted for it. But that’s the irony here.” — Matt

    Interesting how things tend to ‘come together’, isn’t it?

    However, there were only 5 liberals who overturned every home-owners dream. As opposed to how many slavering developers, who couldn’t do squat, until yesterday…..

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  127. Matt Says:

    Chuck
    I’m not so sure the SC overturned American homeowners dreams. They most certainly put homeowners on guard.

    But, in some ways, as bad as the ruling is it basically punts the law back to the local governments.

    And, actually, developers in the western states have had a lot of sway and power. For instance, many land developers are now taking city council seats in the small towns of Montana and Colorado. It’s frustrating because a good many locals like the idea of living in a place where housing is affordable. The developers change that.

  128. Lisa gilliam Says:

    when will Americans stop being so damned complacent?when is the GOP gonna devcelop some backbone and start impeachment proceedings on the courts instead of wasting time and energy on phony issues?

  129. Sandy P Says:

    Hmmm, can’t you just see a casino/resort complex in Malibu?

    What about Cape Cod and Nantucket? Long Island?

    And considering the USSC isn’t a tax-generating body, maybe they can also get their eviction notice and DC could put some retail/commercial there “for the children.”

  130. Econbrowser Says:

    A supreme mistake

    Count me among those disgusted with the Supreme Court’s ruling against Susette Kelo, which
    asserted the right of the government to seize her home in order to divert the property to what
    it judged to be a use of higher economic value.

  131. Econbrowser Says:

    A supreme mistake

    Count me among those disgusted with the Supreme Court’s ruling against Susette Kelo, which
    asserted the right of the government to seize her home in order to divert the property to what
    it judged to be a use of higher economic value.

  132. Paul H Messenger Says:

    Does anyone remember that the original draft said “life, liberty and PROPERTY” but was changed in the final draft to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?

  133. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Matt
    RE: The Dream Remains

    “‘m not so sure the SC overturned American homeowners dreams. They most certainly put homeowners on guard.” — Matt

    Perhaps, but at any moment it can turn into a nightmare at the whim of a simple majority of your city council or, if one resides in a rural setting, the board of county commissioners.

    RE: Local Call

    “But, in some ways, as bad as the ruling is it basically punts the law back to the local governments.” — Matt

    Maybe, but in light of Lawrence v. Texas, Roe v. Wade, and the medical marijuana rulings….

    ….SCOTUS trumps all state laws. And, considering Baker v. Carr, it can overthrow all state constitutions at will.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  134. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Lisa gilliam
    RE: When?

    “when will Americans stop being so damned complacent? when is the GOP gonna devcelop some backbone and start impeachment proceedings on the courts instead of wasting time and energy on phony issues?” — Lisa gilliam

    Indeed….

    I’ve already contacted my entire delegation to Congress, my freshman Democrat Rep, his freshman brother in the Senate and my senior Republican Senator calling for a bill of impeachment against these five miscreants.

    When I get back to my home turf I’m getting in touch with my county party officials to start pushing them to push state.

    You should be doing the same.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  135. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. If the Republicans don’t come out, officially, against this, they are ‘kaput’.

  136. Doug Says:

    To: Chuck & Jack:

    You are correct that the Kelo case is a radical step, but my point is that it was not a surprising one. There have been a series of SCOTUS cases dating back to the 1980s on this issue and the result this week was, ultimately, the logical extension of the Court’s previous rulings. Take a look at Richard Epstein’s book “Takings.”

    Outside the Supreme Court, there have been decisions by many state Supreme Court’s that have expanded the definition of “public use” far beyond its original intent.

  137. Doug Says:

    Chuck wrote:

    “P.S. If the Republicans don’t come out, officially, against this, they are ‘kaput’.”

    And this applies more on the local and state level than it does on the national level. Every principled Republican should take a pledge that they will not exercise this new power the Court has granted them.

    Likelihood of this happening: Slim to none

  138. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Doug
    RE: Likelihoods

    “Likelihood of this happening: Slim to none.” — Doug

    Then, as I said, the Republicans are ‘kaput’.

    It does not matter which level, county, state, national. It matters all the way up and down the chain as SCOTUS trumps all law and every constitution, save the federal. But I think they covet that as well.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  139. Doug Says:

    It took a little Google-searching to find this old case from my law school days……20 years ago the Supreme Court had already laid the ground-work for the decision it handed down on Thursday.

    Hawaii Housing Authority et al. v. Midkiff et al.
    467 U.S. 229, 104 S.Ct. 2321, 81 L.Ed.2d 186.

  140. Bostonian Says:

    Matt,
    You missed the point, you well and truly did.

    No matter who benefits, this ruling is a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of so-called liberal thought.

    I can see that you’re already making yourself comfortable with it, as are other liberals–witness your reference that this gives control back to local government. (What about individual rights? Is safeguarding them not paramount?)

    When “society” has more rights than individuals, then nobody actually has any rights. F.A. Hayek noted this 60 years ago.

  141. Matthew Brown Says:

    This is a very disturbing ruling indeed, but unfortunately an easily anticipated one. The SCOTUS only reaffirmed the existing status quo, as it is generally found up and down the nation.

    In some areas it’s more tightly controlled than others, but all over the US it has been the practice for some time that this is done, and frequently.

    I wish it were a new and aberrant decision, but alas, this is not the case.

  142. Matthew Brown Says:

    I’m not sure that this is a clear-cut case of conservative vs. liberal, left vs. right, republican vs. democrat.

    It’s statist versus individualist. And there are statists in both parties. Witness the current President, who seems quite keen on big government, big spending, and centralisation of power.

  143. Doug Says:

    To: Chuck

    “It does not matter which level, county, state, national. It matters all the way up and down the chain as SCOTUS trumps all law and every constitution, save the federal. But I think they covet that as well.”

    I agree, but the point is that the power of eminent domain is usually one exercised at the state, county, and city level. A book that came out several years ago (which I’m sure I could find on Amazon if I looked) talked about these “little tyrannys” which are often more important to the daily lives of you and I than the things that the Congress-critters, bureaucrats, and “esteemed” Justices of the Supreme Court do to us.

  144. richard mcenroe Says:

    Matt

  145. IO ERROR Says:

    This decision is ridiculous and perfectly predictable. As Matthew Brown stated above, this has been going on for quite a while now. It’s just that this case has brought the practice into the spotlight. Here in the middle of Iowa, about 25 people lost their homes, and a couple of businesses were closed down, for a hotel and convention center that no one but the city council seems to want. Oh, and they raised taxes to pay for it, too…

  146. jack white Says:

    Doug, I agree that some cases had laid the groundwork, but with Nolan and a few more opinions that followed it seemed that eminent domain was headed back to its tradional “public good” rationale.

    This decision was radical, I think you agree, and if it stands it will alter this country in ways we can’t even anticipate.

  147. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: jack white & Doug
    RE: Them Changes Keep Coming Down

    “… if it stands it will alter this country in ways we can’t even anticipate.” — james white

    I can anticipate some of them. One is there will be a stronger third party come the next general election.

    I’ll give it another week or so, until after Independece Day, for one of the major parties to come out against this ruling. After that…I’m likely looking for a new affiliation.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  148. jj Says:

    I have been in the real estate business for a number of years as an owner of residential rental properties and have found (despite what most everyone else thinks of this decision) the Supreme Court decision to be not unreasonable for 1 very good reason: they are not _taking_ your property (like communism) they are forcing you to sell your real estate property and (wait don’t flame me yet) in _every_ case that I have seen, the government authority pays _much_more_ than the property is worth. So the only reason I can see to complain is the emotional or sentimental attachment to real estate.

    Ok, the emotional or sentimental attachment to real estate can be a significant factor to an individual, but, guess what, the world changes, everybody dies, material possessions are only temporary. Personally, I’d say “let it go”. If you can do better with your financial settlement (which is, by the way, tax free, since it is an “involuntary exchange”) and find a nicer place, what’s the big deal?

    BTW, this has been going on for quite some time anyhow, it is just now being validated by the Supreme Court. It’s called progress, and it doesn’t hurt the individual’s rights.

    Ok, flame on….

  149. jack white Says:

    This involves more than emotional attachment, jj. It is about basic human freedom. If that decision stands–and it won’t–you eventually will be out of a job and all private property as we know it will cease to exist. What you wrote is so simplistic there is no need to flame you.

    For four days now, America has been little more than a Bannana Republic. This decision will be overturned one state at a time, one United States Supreme Court justice at a time.

  150. Doug Says:

    To: Chuck

    I’d like to believe you that this ruling will result in a strong third-party movement, but I doubt it. There are too many people who have too much invested in the current two-party system, and the only thing I see changing the way things are is major social upheavel along the lines of the Great Depression. For the most part, the sheeple will continue to vote for Dumb or Dumber.

  151. Doug Says:

    To: jj

    229 years ago men fought a revolution to preserve, among other things, the right to not have their property taken away by an arbitrary ruler and given to someone else.

    Last week, 5 justices of the Supreme Court basically said that what George III did was okay.

  152. T. Longren Says:

    Eminent Domain

    So, our government hates us. A few days ago, the Supreme Court ruled on eminent domain powers. They came to the conclusion that state entities can take private property as long as it’ll generate some sort of tax revenue. I was so freakin piss…

  153. On the Wright Says:

    Court Split on 10 Commandments and …

    It appears that if you show the Commandments outside of the government building, then that is ok. But if you display them inside the building then that is terrible and offends people that aren’t Christians.

    I just don’t see how this ruling makes a…

  154. Doug Says:

    Jack White wrote:

    “This decision was radical, I think you agree, and if it stands it will alter this country in ways we can’t even anticipate.”

    Radical yes. Surprising given the logical path developed by past case law ? Not at all.

    On an unrelated note, nearly a week has gone by since this decision came down and I haven’t heard a single thing from the White House or any significant Republican leader about this decision.

  155. jack white Says:

    The silence from the political leadership in the country (and the MSM) speaks loudly to me, Doug. The Establishment likes this opinion but wants it to fly below the radar. And I guess from the standpoint of an elected official, this decision is wonderful on several levels.

    I guess I shouldn’t have been surpised, but I was. In the late 80s and early 90s some opinions began to close the door on the more outrageous uses of eminent domain (Nolan stands out). But you are right; this is consistent in the sense that the temporary lull in takings was just that, temporary.

  156. Jonathan And Wanda Rantings Says:

    Socialist America Shaping Up

    So much for the 5th Amendment, they ripped it out of the Constitution in one ruling. It was split just as I figured it would be … 5 (LIBERALS) – 4 (Conservatives) … still think judicial nominees are not important ?

  157. Ken Says:

    “And I do know there are real abuses: I have read about cities in California condemning churches to build Costco stores. On the other hand, say a big manufacturer wants to build a plant somewhere. I’m not sure I have a problem with using eminent domain to take care of a greedy holdout and his mobile home. To me there need to be value judgments based on the particulars of a situation — which is just the kind of decisions we generally don’t want judges making.”

    No, we don’t need value judgements. And we don’t need the law to be that a greedy holdout who only has a mobile home has less of a property right than a greedy holdout in a “nice middle class home”. Your right to your own property shouldn’t depend on a majority vote, it shouldn’t depend on your popularity in the community, and it sure as hell shouldn’t depend on whether you’re a nice middle class fellow or a proud owner of a mobile home.

  158. Doug Says:

    Saw this in the blogosphere:

    http://www.freestarmedia.com/hotellostliberty2.html

    Funny

  159. Vote for Judges Says:

    The Court’s Closing Flourish

    The practice of routinely twisting the plain language and meaning of a governing charter is just wrong. Your church council wouldn’t do it, your Monday night bowling leage wouldn’t do it. Yet this most important of nations accepts it as routine.

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