Baronger's Scribblings

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Kelo update -- Homeowners Lose

''The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says 'nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.' This is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power.''

Please note that it says for public use. What happened is the Supreme court has decided that if a business says they can provide more taxes and jobs with your land then you can, that the government can take it. Hopefully the cities where the five justices live, decide to condemn their homes and give the property to walmart.

Forget homeland security. What about home security? This will in the end stifle business and hurt the economy. What person will start up a business, if someone can go around and snatch up their property. Don't give me just compensation, it never happens.


Kelo v. New London, 04-108
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The decision was 5-4

Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, and David H. Souter have decided that you are no longer secure in your homes.

Justice O'Connor wrote the descent joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


This used to be just a tool to blight and seize inner city property. Now I've seen it being used against higher income businesses and homes. It's going to end up with whoever has the money to bribe or intimidate a city council can decide to take anything they want. If only we had a constitutional amendment ... oh wait we already did.

I wonder when the first law firms will start sueing city councils that don't seize land for them. After all they can argue that they can increase taxes and provide more jobs then the current owner. Why a city council would be failing in their duty, if they don't cave to developers and big business. Of course whoever gets the land will only keep it, till someone richer and more powerful comes along.


Addendum I
The Anchoress has a great article and links on her site.

Now, you people, your local government knows what’s best for you. They’ve carefully formulated an economic plan and if they say your house and private property need to go, that the life you have built there is irrelevent…well, you just have to listen to your Government Fathers and move along. Because they know what’s best, and have your best interest at heart. Your Government Parents love you and just want to take care of you.

Very true and I quite agree. But the supreme court apparently trusts our local council to know what's best for us. It's not like they are influenced by big money developers.


Orin Kerr, is also on the case. It should be interesting to see what he has to say once he looks closer at this. Volokh, seems like an apologist for the court and I am yet to be moved by his arguments. Of course Volokh would have to labour like Hercules to change my mind, since this is one of my hot button issues. Nothing good can come out of this. Let's see where the opinions finaly settle out after all the arguments are hashed out.

Addendum II
Looks like Todd Zywicki finaly found his voice, after several false starts. My only reply to him is, "Do the Supreme Court justices take an oath to uphold and defend the constitution? If there is a clear violation in them overrunning an amendment, what can be done?." It looks like the Supreme Court has finaly ruled, "You can't fight city hall." I hope that the blogsphere keeps up interest in the case, for to be quiet invites disaster for all property owneers.



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