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

Posted By: Okie | 2:13 pm — 6/23/2005 | 2 Comments See comments below:

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 property for “public use”, but this time the forced sales of private property is being done for the benefit of a private corporate entity, the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. The rationale of the Court was that “public use” was properly considered to be “within the meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution because it would increase tax revenues, create jobs and improve the local economy.”

Gee, that’s really swell of the Court. My little house in Tulsa could have been “taken” so that Circle K could build a new convenience store on the block, ’cause all those Slurpy and beer sales would have generated a significantly greater amount of sales tax revenue than I was paying in property tax. As Professor Bainbridge points out via what Justice O’Connor stated in her dissent:

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 wrote. “The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.”

The Vodkapundit brings into perspective a harrowing likely endgame that could result from this 5/4 decision:

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.

So, with that last statement in mind, which justices made up the majority? John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer. Betcha didn’t even need two guesses! Had to be the bunch of liberals and weak centrists to so heavily weigh in favor of the collective against the individual.

Michelle Malkin, along with many, many links to other great posts, has this to say in response to those liberals that feel conservatives are frauds because there was no major outcry over Bush’s sports development deal in TX.

The real frauds are bleeding-heart liberal poseurs who decry Big Business–except when they’re conspiring with them in the name of “community redevelopment” and “blight eradication.”

In her own special way, the Anchoress puts the correct spin on this decision:

The world is upside down, baby, upside down. A few years ago, Tim Robbins carried on – everywhere – about the “chill wind” that was blowing…supposedly it was affecting his freedom of speech, which we knew was true because he said it on TV, Radio, in a Play, at concerts, etc.

Today, THIS ruling by the SCOTUS feels like a real and true, and inexorable chill wind.

Captain Ed speaks to the ruling’s inherent injustice:

This does a tremendous injustice to the property owners of New London and everywhere in the United States. This puts the entire notion of property rights into jeopardy. Now cities can literally force people off their land in order to simply increase their tax base, which is all that New London accomplished in this smelly maneuver.

We all know that the next several Supreme Court justice nominations are crucial. Earlier this AM Doug TenNapel was warning us against the possibility of a soft-conservative Bush appointment, and this latest SCOTUS debacle hadn’t even happened as yet!

Today’s ruling showcases just how critically important these upcoming nominations, and the confirmation fights that are sure to come, really are. Yesterday they could confiscate your car for “cause” — Today . . . your private property for “public use” — Tomorrow . . . your life? Wonder what you’d get in return for that? (db)


Rick over at Stones Cry Out, after a detailed analysis of the concepts of “land use”, “zoning issues” and “public domain”, says this:

Kelo blurs further the line between public and private land. While I agree that in the specific Kelo case, the overall development plan would provide for a public benefit, since the petitioners’ property was causing no immediate harm to the public, the government’s role is to establish the plan, and the market’s job to implement it. If Pfizer could not purchase the land required to build their factory, then they have to take their project elsewhere; they have no inherent right to the property. Taking it in this instance is not only unconstitutional (despite what five justices say), it is immoral. [emphasis mine]

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2005 at 2:13 pm and is filed under Focus On Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  |  Print This Post Print This Post  |  Email This Post Email This Post

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