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    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    More on Kelo v. New London -- it's been more than a week and this case still burns me up

    As you know, there is an effort underway to seize Souter's house and build a hotel there. The paperwork has been filed with his local zoning board. This man needs to be taught that it is wrong to use eminent domain to take someone's property and give it to another person, and I can think of no better way than to do it to him (remembering the principle that a leftist who's been mugged becomes a conservative or libertarian). Help see that "Justice Is Served" on Property Rights!

    I all candor, I don't think this will happen -- ordinary eminent domain abuse is not targeted at specific people (at least, not officially). If Souter can show malice on the part of the developers, he can probably successfully challenge this sort of eminent domain seizure.

    * * *

    The ruling in Kelo v. New London goes against the Supreme Court's own precedents.

    Apparently, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Bill of Rights cannot be altered, or the rights therein lessened, by wither the legislature or the courts.
    "The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.
    One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, free press, freedom of worship & assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."
    Jackson, J., West Virginia State board of Education v Barnette 1943 319 US 624,638 87L ed 1628, 1638, 63 S Ct 1178, 147 ALR 674.
    While I have not properly Shepardized this case, it has been cited by the Supreme Court as recently as 1997 and still appears to be good law.

    Since Kelo nullifies part of the Fifth Amendment. It therefore goes against the ruling in West Virginia State board of Education and violates the principle of stare decisis (the principle by which prior decisions are controlling on future cases). Of course, I have never known the Supreme Court to shy away form overruling itself when convenient (it is rare for the court to ever admit that it is so doing, though).

    Anyway, thought you might find that interesting.

    * * *

    Congress to Slap Down the Court's Eminent Domain Decision

    The House on Thursday approved by a 231-189 vote a bid by conservative Scott Garrett, R-N.J., to bar federal transportation funds from being used to make improvements on lands seized via eminent domain for private development. Legislation in the works also would ban the use of federal funds for any project getting the go-ahead using the Kelo v. City of New London (Conn.) decision.

    I approve. Very nice.

    Meanwhile, in the Senate, we have John Cornyn's bill: S. 1313, would lay down a congressional definition of "public use," far narrower than the Court's constitutional interpretation in Kelo v. City of New London (04-108) . . . Here . . . is the operative part of the Cornyn bill:
    "( a ) In General. -- The power of eminent domain shall be available only for public use.
    "( b ) Public Use. -- In this Act, the term 'public use' shall not be construed to include economic development.
    "( c ) Application. -- This Act shall apply to --
    (1) all exercises of eminent domain power by the Federal Government, and
    (2) all exercises of eminent domain power by State and local government through the use of Federal funds."

    All freedom-loving people need to write their Congress-people and tell them that this, and legislation like it, is always a great idea.

    * * *

    Elsewhere on the Blogosphere and the Internet:
    ---------News Media Blackout On 'Revving Bulldozers,' Intimidation And Harassment Of New London Residents
    ---------Another Terrible Decision By 5 Robed Legislators
    ---------Location, Location, Location
    ---------Judicial Rulings Causing a furor in the Beltway...
    ---------Further Thoughts On The Kelo Ruling
    ---------Floodgates open following Kelo decision
    ---------Kelo and eminent domain abuse: What now?


    Blogger GeoBandy said...

    The Kelo decision is horrendous, but not unexpected. The drift in eminent domain law for many years has been toward expanding the concept of "public use" into "public benefit" - one of the points raised by Justice O'Connor in discussing indirect public benefits. I had a couple of posts up on this last week, but haven't revisited it...yet. As usual, the expansion of government power in this area started in a "limited" way for a "good cause". Urban renewal in the late '60's. That's where the "blight" justification entered into it. You're right about the guy going after Souter's house potentially having a problem. He's not actually a developer. He runs a tiny internet news service, which he used to issue the press release, and claims he's hoping to obtain investors.

    7/02/2005 11:53 PM  

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