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Just Leave me Alone!
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AP report on Kelo vs New London
QUOTE
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.


Case Details.
QUOTE
In 1998, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer built a plant next to Fort Trumbull and the City determined that someone else could make better use of the land than the Fort Trumbull residents. The City handed over its power of eminent domain—the ability to take private property for public use—to the New London Development Corporation (NLDC), a private body, to take the entire neighborhood for private development. As the Fort Trumbull neighbors found out, when private entities wield government’s awesome power of eminent domain and can justify taking property with the nebulous claim of “economic development,” all homeowners are in trouble.


Transcript from Case.

Questions for Debate: Do you agree with the Court’s decision? Is using Eminent Domain for seizures of private property to the benefit of another private entity a violation of the Fifth Amendment?
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DaytonRocker
I don't know how anybody can agree this is right or what our founding fathers ever imagined. Knowing this, they might have wanted to keep the British.

I really think this is the straw that breaks the camel's back and will force me to switch parties. I'm finding that even though I think abortion is murder and we need less government in our lives, I have FAR more in common with democrats.
Aquilla
QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Jun 23 2005, 09:22 AM)
I don't know how anybody can agree this is right or what our founding fathers ever imagined. Knowing this, they might have wanted to keep the British.

I really think this is the straw that breaks the camel's back and will force me to switch parties. I'm finding that even though I think abortion is murder and we need less government in our lives, I have FAR more in common with democrats.
*




What in the world are you talking about, DR? This isn't a Republican thing at all. From the Washington Post account of the decision.......

QUOTE
"The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including _ but by no means limited to _ new jobs and increased tax revenue," Stevens wrote in an opinion joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.



QUOTE
O'Connor, who has often been a key swing vote at the court, issued a stinging dissent, arguing that cities should not have unlimited authority to uproot families, even if they are provided compensation, simply to accommodate wealthy developers.

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," she wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."



QUOTE
O'Connor was joined in her opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.



It seems to me that if you're looking at political leanings in this decision, the four justices who dissented are far closer to the GOP than the majority of the court......
Just Leave me Alone!
mad.gif I am irate over this ruling. Everyone's private property is in jeopardy now. I'm on the verge of flying to Connecticut and chaining myself to Mrs. Kelo's home in protest. I haven't been locked up for civil disobedience in a long time. I think that I'm due.

This ruling is a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment which says that you cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property. This is one small step for activist judges, and one giant leap for fascism in America. We cannot stand by idle or our homes could be next. I'm writing my Governor and Mayor today to pass laws that specifically forbid the government from using Eminent Domain for private entity gains. I hope everyone else does the same.
ConservPat
I've stopped becoming outraged over the Supreme Court's lack of respect for it's job. The Court is no longer concerned with upholding the Constitution, a 3 year-old could tell you that this eminent domain is unConstitutional for Christ's sake. The Court has degenerated into not even conservatives vs. liberals, but Republicans vs. Democrats [or as we Libertarians call it, Authoritarian Party Alpha vs. Authoritarian Party Beta]. There is no excuse for this ruling, eminent domain is a clear violation of the Fifth Amendement and this type of extreme eminent domain smacks of fascism [and I rarely ever use that word].

CP us.gif
Just Leave me Alone!
ermm.gif Apparently the 5 in favor were holding to Berman vs Parker and Hawaii Housing Authority vs Midkiff rulings as their precendent. I cannot find the full opinions online yet, but I am very interested in reading Kennedy and O'Connor.
PACPanzer
Frankly, this is the most disturbing ruling the court has made to date. Unless the CITY or MUNICIPALITY is the developer for and on behalf of its citizenry, then eminent domain has no place in the fabric of our constitution. Even when the strict standards that caveat demands are met, property rights are still some of the most precious rights any individual has.

There are ways to protect the public through zoning, health, animal codes, etc., that make this sort of totalitarianism in the U.S. reek like the unmistakeable odor of a rotting society.
AuthorMusician
Our Republican governor, Bill Owens, recently vetoed a state law, constructed by both Democrats and Republicans, that would have made this misuse of eminent domain illegal. Our state legislature has Democrats in control of both houses. In Colorado, the Democrats are arm-in-arm with Republicans when it comes to protecting private property rights against eminent domain misuse by local governments.

Why, if it was the Demo side of the SC who made the decision, did our Republican governor veto the state law?

Something isn't adding up here. Either there is no Demo side to the SC, or there is a lot of money flowing around to influence government.

Saw an article in the Washington Post this week about how business is spending a ton of money on lobbyists, due to having Republicans controlling everything in Washington. Maybe what some see as the Demo side of the SC has been swayed by the business lobbyists? That might add up.

We have too much business influence in our government -- that's apparent. In Colorado, electing Demos has shown to be a wise move, while electing Owens was a terrible thing to do. On the upside, he's term-limited and will be leaving this state after 2006, probably heading toward DC.

Maybe to get a 300k/year lobbyist's job?
Solanio
When I first heard about this ruling, I was outraged -- I'm trying very hard to imagine circumstances in which I would be ok for the government to do something like this, and I'm hard pressed to even get close. This is just another step toward this company becoming the 10-Percenter Club -- reach the top 10% of income and you actually get citizenship and rights... patronizing platitudes, flag burning amendments and 'family values' lip service for the rest of you. Ugh.
Curmudgeon
Questions for Debate: Do you agree with the Court’s decision? Is using Eminent Domain for seizures of private property to the benefit of another private entity a violation of the Fifth Amendment?

Do I agree with the court's decision? No. Could the court have afforded to decide otherwise? Probably not. This is probably a case of the court ruling that "past practice" supersedes; as this has been practiced for longer than I can recall. My parents could never show me the home they lived in when I was born, as the lot it was on, is in the middle of a Buick plant in flint. It was seized under eminent domain circa 1949 or 1950. Or perhaps the house I am thinking of was the earlier one they owned, that they had been able to pay cash for; but that an auto plant felt was only worth $100 when it took the land from them...

I don't even want to look at the "law" on this. I heard the stories from my parents on a routine basis as long as they lived. The courts ruled then, as they have now, that this is legal. I am only surprised that it took the Supreme Court this long to rubber stamp the procedure. So, it has been challenged, and is now irreversibly, the law of the land. That makes it legal. It still does not make it right.

Had the court ruled that this was not legal, it would have opened a can of worms for legal challenges and reparations for every home and business seized under eminent domain back to the adaptation of the Constitution.

(Edited to correct spelling errors, again!)
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Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jun 23 2005, 02:34 PM)
Our Republican governor, Bill Owens, recently vetoed a state law, constructed by both Democrats and Republicans, that would have made this misuse of eminent domain illegal. Our state legislature has Democrats in control of both houses. In Colorado, the Democrats are arm-in-arm with Republicans when it comes to protecting private property rights against eminent domain misuse by local governments.

Why, if it was the Demo side of the SC who made the decision, did our Republican governor veto the state law?
*


smile.gif Can we please avoid the Democrat vs Republican finger pointing here?
Here is Owen's response for his veto of that bill. It does raise the question of where do you draw the line on eminent domain? The Colorado bill was to stop private toll roads from using it. The Connecticut case was simply to raise tax revenue. Private building of something for public use is a better reason to invoke Eminent Domain than just hoping to raise tax revenue for the city, but I'm not sure that it passes Fifth Amendment muster either.

Mr. Bullock nailed it in this case with this opening line:
QUOTE
Every home, church or corner store would produce more tax revenue and jobs if it were a Costco, a shopping mall or a private office building.  But if that's the justification for the use of eminent domain, then any city can take property anywhere within its borders for any private use that might make more money than what is there now.
VDemosthenes
QUOTE
Do you agree with the Court’s decision?


I cannot and will not agree with any court decision that would require stripping yet another one of my all ready thin and evermore dying civil liberties.


QUOTE
Is using Eminent Domain for seizures of private property to the benefit of another private entity a violation of the Fifth Amendment?


Of course it is a violation, we are the next feudal system on a large-scale in the making. When property is seized and private citizens are left without that which they had paid for it is the biggest slap in the face to the Fifth Amendment in the history of downward spiraling Constitutional rights.

This is an incentive to business and not the individual. A business is made up of individuals who are posturing to get rich, and somehow somewhere, it has paid off. Now property may be seized within reason to pay for supposed reasons that I would imagine have no weight or bearing.

Violation? hardly. Supreme mistreatment of rights? yep, you're gettin' close.

Sleeper
*Sigh*

I knew this would come up as I was watching the news this morning as the anchor on CNN used words like seize, bulldoze and demolish in reference to eminent domain.

Is the population this grossly ignorant to believe the way it is being reported?

Seeing as I just took and passed classes and a test to get my Real Estate license in my state I will quote from a text book used nationally on the definition of eminent domain:
QUOTE
The right of a government body to acquire property for public use through a court action called condemnation, in which the court decides that the use is a public use and determines the compensation to be paid to the owner.


What clearly happened is the city officials deemed that this land would benefit the community if it were to be developed as commercial land. The land was not seized!! The owners were given fair market value. But the way the media is reporting this story you would think people were being kicked out on their rears with nothing to show.

One of my first times as a Juror, I had to hear an eminent domain case where the county was not paying enough for the land it was condemning. And we all sided with the owner of the land an his family got $100,000 more than the county tried to offer.

Eminent Domain exists soley for the betterment of the community. Whether it be a public road or highway, a school, hospital, or even if the government body believes commercial zoning would benefit the area, they have that right to do so.
carlitoswhey
Thinking about this Supreme Court, they really are getting out of hand. Besides siding with big drug conpanies against cancer patients, jumping through hoops to find that me growing a plant in my yard is "interstate commerce." Next logical step - take my house and give it to Pfizer for a "public use." And, I'm not denying your example Curmudgeon, but I'm pretty sure that there was indeed precedent against transfers of private property from a homeowner to another private interest. (as opposed to 'public use')

Indeed there was precedent for 'public use' but the court has now officially said that 'public use' = whatever the legislators in that area say it is. Which seems a bit broad of a definition to me. Re-quoting Mr. Bullock - any city can take property anywhere within its borders for any private use that might make more money than what is there now. Living in a big city full of corrupt aldermen and appointed officials on the take, I'm interested in this case in a very real, practical sense.

Anyway, it's nice to see people waking up to the problems in the court. Wish I could say that Dubya is going to appoint constitutionalists who won't pull this kind of nonsense, but I suspect he'll appoint his buddy Al Gonzalez, give him a pat on the butt and tell him to take care of those donors, er, corporations. dry.gif
DaytonRocker
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 23 2005, 02:21 PM)
Eminent Domain exists soley for the betterment of the community. Whether it be a public road or highway, a school, hospital, or even if the government body believes commercial zoning would benefit the area, they have that right to do so.

And in Cincinnati, houses are being gobbled up using these same laws to widen roads and make room for more Walmarts. Not in slums, ghettos, or whatever - right in the heart of Suburbia. And they do it exactly as you've stated - for the betterment of the community.

Just like the Iraq war - I'm all for it just so it's your kid dying over there and not mine. In this case, as long as my house is safe, they can have yours if it makes us more money.

This was being abused before it even got to court.

Sleeper
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Jun 23 2005, 02:36 PM)
Thinking about this Supreme Court, they really are getting out of hand.  Besides siding with big drug conpanies against cancer patients, jumping through hoops to find that me growing a plant in my yard is "interstate commerce." Next logical step - take my house and give it to Pfizer for a "public use."  And, I'm not denying your example Curmudgeon, but I'm pretty sure that there was indeed precedent against transfers of private property from a homeowner to another private interest.  (as opposed to 'public use')

Indeed there was precedent for 'public use' but the court has now officially said that 'public use' = whatever the legislators in that area say it is.  Which seems a bit broad of a definition to me.  Re-quoting Mr. Bullock - any city can take property anywhere within its borders for any private use that might make more money than what is there now.   Living in a big city full of corrupt aldermen and appointed officials on the take, I'm interested in this case in a very real, practical sense.

Anyway, it's nice to see people waking up to the problems in the court.  Wish I could say that Dubya is going to appoint constitutionalists who won't pull this kind of nonsense, but I suspect he'll appoint his buddy Al Gonzalez, give him a pat on the butt and tell him to take care of those donors, er, corporations.    dry.gif
*



You are way off base there Carlito... if you look at the 5-4 decision. It was made by the liberal side of the court... it was the conservatives who were in the dissenting opinion.

You can't blame Bush for anything on this one. whistling.gif
Sleeper
QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Jun 23 2005, 02:37 PM)
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 23 2005, 02:21 PM)
Eminent Domain exists soley for the betterment of the community. Whether it be a public road or highway, a school, hospital, or even if the government body believes commercial zoning would benefit the area, they have that right to do so.

And in Cincinnati, houses are being gobbled up using these same laws to widen roads and make room for more Walmarts. Not in slums, ghettos, or whatever - right in the heart of Suburbia. And they do it exactly as you've stated - for the betterment of the community.

Just like the Iraq war - I'm all for it just so it's your kid dying over there and not mine. In this case, as long as my house is safe, they can have yours if it makes us more money.

This was being abused before it even got to court.
*



Don't speak so fast there DR. When I was 10 my family was forced to move from the place we lived because of eminent domain so I have been effected by it first hand, and I still agree with the law and ruling.
Just Leave me Alone!
Found the opinions on the case.

I'm going to focus on Justice Stevens arguments for:

QUOTE
Parcel 2 will be the site of approximately 80 new residences organized into an urban neighborhood and linked by public walkway to the remainder of the development, including the state park.


The current residents live in parcels 3 and 4A. Instead of building a neighborhood in Parcel 2, couldn’t the New London Development Corporation have built what was going to go in Parcels 3 and 4A on Parcel 2 and left these people alone? They are buying houses to build more houses!

QUOTE
Ten of the parcels are occupied by the owner or a family member; the other five are held as investment properties. There is no allegation that any of these properties is blighted or otherwise in poor condition; rather, they were condemned only because they happen to be located in the development area.


I own investment property. The ‘just compensation’ I would receive in a case like this would not make up for the loss in appreciation that I expect to see in the property. What is next Justice Stevens? The 49% owner of Google can use eminent domain to force me to sell my shares to him because he has convinced some politicians that with 50% he could make the company more money and therefore pay more taxes to the government?

QUOTE
Nor would the City be allowed to take property under the mere pretext of a public purpose, when its actual purpose was to bestow a private benefit. The takings before us, however, would be executed pursuant to a "carefully considered" development plan. 268 Conn., at 54, 843 A. 2d, at 536. The trial judge and all the members of the Supreme Court of Connecticut agreed that there was no evidence of an illegitimate purpose in this case.6 Therefore, as was true of the statute challenged in Midkiff, 467 U. S., at 245, the City's development plan was not adopted "to benefit a particular class of identifiable individuals."


The subjectivity of those statements is what opens the flood gates here.

QUOTE
It is further argued that without a bright-line rule nothing would stop a city from transferring citizen A's property to citizen B for the sole reason that citizen B will put the property to a more productive use and thus pay more taxes. Such a one-to-one transfer of property, executed outside the confines of an integrated development plan, is not presented in this case. While such an unusual exercise of government power would certainly raise a suspicion that a private purpose was afoot,17 the hypothetical cases posited by petitioners can be confronted if and when they arise.18 They do not warrant the crafting of an artificial restriction on the concept of public use.19


Read – “I’m leaving the door open to let the Mayor’s Daughter force you to sell your home to her.”
Sleeper
QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Jun 23 2005, 11:22 AM)
I don't know how anybody can agree this is right or what our founding fathers ever imagined. Knowing this, they might have wanted to keep the British.

I really think this is the straw that breaks the camel's back and will force me to switch parties. I'm finding that even though I think abortion is murder and we need less government in our lives, I have FAR more in common with democrats.
*




And I have to respond to this one... OMG DR!! Did you read the rulings?!? It was decided by the Liberal/Democrat side of the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision.

I am utterly confused by your above statement how this would make you feel you have far more in common with democrats if they are the ones who ruled in favor of eminent domain. wacko.gif
DaytonRocker
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 23 2005, 02:51 PM)
QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Jun 23 2005, 11:22 AM)
I don't know how anybody can agree this is right or what our founding fathers ever imagined. Knowing this, they might have wanted to keep the British.

I really think this is the straw that breaks the camel's back and will force me to switch parties. I'm finding that even though I think abortion is murder and we need less government in our lives, I have FAR more in common with democrats.
*




And I have to respond to this one... OMG DR!! Did you read the rulings?!? It was decided by the Liberal/Democrat side of the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision.

I am utterly confused by your above statement how this would make you feel you have far more in common with democrats if they are the ones who ruled in favor of eminent domain. wacko.gif
*


Upon further review, the ball returns to the 50- yard line - Dayton's ball... thumbsup.gif

When I first started reviewing it, I read the court ruled for big business and assumed the usual suspects were behind it. And I was mistaken. Ooops.

It still stinks to high heaven regardless. I'll hold off on switching parties till the next Republican debacle instead... whistling.gif
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 23 2005, 02:44 PM)
You are way off base there Carlito... if you look at the 5-4 decision. It was made by the liberal side of the court... it was the conservatives who were in the dissenting opinion.

You can't blame Bush for anything on this one.   whistling.gif

Didn't blame him for this one, as he hasn't appointed anyone yet. I was preemtively blaming him for the next one. smile.gif OK, was worrying about the next one out loud. I'll keep my musings in check from here on out, but between Scalia's mental gymnastics in Raich and this decision from the 'liberal' side, I'm growing more concerned that they are out of control as a group, and it's not a liberal or conservative problem, it's a Constitutional problem.

edited to add in a complete fit of paranoia:
By disrepecting the 5th Amendment so thoroughly, the Court is once again demonstrating the necessity of the 2nd. I bet a "well-regulated militia" could defend these houses from being stolen by the state.
ConservPat
QUOTE
Whether it be a public road or highway, a school, hospital, or even if the government body believes commercial zoning would benefit the area, they have that right to do so.
First of all, I'd like to state that the government does not have "rights", it has authorities, and I don't believe that the gov't has the authority to force anyone out of their homes. The Fifth Amendmen states that no private property can be taken for public use without just compensation. It doesn't say whether or not the gov't can decide what's just and then take the house. It doesn't specify whether or not the people have the right to turn down the compensation or not, etc. etc. There are too many questions that have to be answered before we can call this practice Constitutional, so until then, it should be considered unConstitutional.

More importantly though, the Fifth Amendment allows for gov't taking of private land for public use, not private land for private use, so regardless of whether or not it benefits the community, it's unConstitutional.

CP us.gif
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 23 2005, 03:21 PM)
Seeing as I just took and passed classes and a test to get my Real Estate license in my state I will quote from a text book used nationally on the definition of eminent domain:
QUOTE
The right of a government body to acquire property for public use through a court action called condemnation, in which the court decides that the use is a public use and determines the compensation to be paid to the owner.


What clearly happened is the city officials deemed that this land would benefit the community if it were to be developed as commercial land.

The clear word in the definition is public use.

QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 23 2005, 03:21 PM)
Eminent Domain exists soley for the betterment of the community. Whether it be a public road or highway, a school, hospital, or even if the government body believes commercial zoning would benefit the area, they have that right to do so.
*


This isn't just commercial zoning here Sleeper. This is forced sale of private lands to benefit private parties. This isn't a railroad, a toll road, or public utility that we are discussing here. That I can semi-understand. This is new office and residential buildings. Justice O'Connor put it's better than I:
QUOTE(Justice O’Connor)
Over two centuries ago, just after the Bill of Rights was ratified, Justice Chase wrote:
"An act of the Legislature (for I cannot call it a law) contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority ... . A few instances will suffice to explain what I mean... . [A] law that takes property from A. and gives it to B: It is against all reason and justice, for a people to entrust a Legislature with such powers; and, therefore, it cannot be presumed that they have done it." Calder v. Bull, 3 Dall. 386, 388 (1798) (emphasis deleted).
Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded--i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public--in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings "for public use" is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property--and thereby effectively to delete the words "for public use" from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly I respectfully dissent.

If this isn't taking from A to give to B, I don't know what is. There is no distinction anymore between public and private use. That is why the 5 in favor refuse to even set what limitations are not under eminent domain. What stops the Mayor's daughter from forcing you to sell your place to her now?
A left Handed person
Do you agree with the Court’s decision?

No. If you give the government the ability to do with land as a it pleases, then in effect your giving the land to the government...

Is using Eminent Domain for seizures of private property to the benefit of another private entity a violation of the Fifth Amendment?

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.

Well it does say public use, so I have to admit, it is constitutional. That being the case however, I still don't see what the supreme court is using as an excuse to actually make it a local governments right to use imminent domain. There isn't anything in the constitution to support that judgement.
hayleyanne
I am absolutely shocked at this decision. What kind of country are we living in?

From what I have heard of the decision, the local government can now take private property away from an individual in order that another private owner can own it who will generate more tax revenue. I need to read the majority opinion to understand better what contortions the Court went through in order to arrive at this holding and I plan to comment further later.

This decision has crossed a threshold and I believe we have a real constitutional problem if the Court is allowed to interpret the Constitution in such a way as to permit this kind of action against a citizen.
ralou
I think the whole Court is senile or somehow has been bought by the corporate oligarchy, and that they need to be ousted, each and every one. And yes, I agree with those on both sides who say this is the last straw. My jaw dropped when I read this today. And I know that Jose Padilla is in jail without a trial or a lawyer or charges brought against him, and at least one other American was handed over to the Saudis for torture, and free speech cages were used at the DNC Convention, and police lied and arrested protestors in New York during the GOP convention, and the spy agencies have more power than ever before in our history...yet somehow this incident drove home the direction we are heading in more than any of the others.

Maybe because property rights are such a heart of America, conservative stance.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Jun 23 2005, 01:08 PM)
I'll keep my musings in check from here on out, but between Scalia's mental gymnastics in Raich and this decision from the 'liberal' side, I'm growing more concerned that they are out of control as a group, and it's not a liberal or conservative problem, it's a Constitutional problem.
*


I'll completely echo that sentiment there Carlito, I am completely shocked by this decision. The court has basically taken the fifth amendment, waded it up and tossed it in the trashcan here.

As numerous other people have stated the key word is public use, not private use. So unless the government was taking the land to make way for a freeway or government facility the supreme court should have declared this unconstitutional and this should have been a 9-0 vote!
Artemise
Im not in agreement with the decision and think the Founders are probably rolling over in their graves. One woman was born in her house 87 years ago. Where is she going to go now?

I also wonder about 'just compensation' and if it is enough to buy another house? If these are older houses, perhaps smaller houses, where does one find another?
This was not a blighted area either.

As far as the courts decision though I believe to some extent it was a States rights issue (as well as complying with precedent):

QUOTE
Justice Stevens said states remained free to place restrictions on their own use of eminent domain power through their own constitutions and laws, as many have; California, for example, has a law restricting to blighted areas the use of eminent domain for economic development.


But I far more agree with O'Connor:

QUOTE
"Who among us can say she already makes the most productive or attractive use of her property?" Justice O'Connor asked.

She added: "The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."




CZ Bob
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.
-----------------------
The City determined that someone else could make better use of the land than the ... residents. ...As the [residents] found out, when private entities wield government's awesome power of eminent domain and can justify taking property with the nebulous claim of “economic development,” all homeowners are in trouble.

Do you agree with the Court’s decision? Is using Eminent Domain for seizures of private property to the benefit of another private entity a violation of the Fifth Amendment..?
-------------------------
I disagree with the court's decision.

Why..?

----------------------

The 5th Amendment says: ...."nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Rather than indulge in sophistries I prefer to go back to simple fundamentals and invoke
the principle embodied in "K.I.S.S".

For example, What is meant by "private property" anyway..?

Accepting the premise that:

Any entity 'owns' only that which it can physically defend...

It is obvious that individuals cannot truly "own" much of anything.

[There is always a faster (or younger) "gun" to take it away from you] :-)

Therefore in a civilized country:

The government "owns" [by common consent] the land which it governs,
and leases 'in perpetuity' parcels of that land to private individuals in return
for a fee [tax] designed to pay its costs.

A Deed/Title to land is simply a revocable lease issued and defended by the
government.

A government "of, by, and for the people" is "owned" by its taxpayers, and
its prime purpose is the physical defense of lands 'leased' to its taxpayers,
i.e., it protects honest citizens from dishonest predators, thereby making
possible a "civilized" polity in which progress can be made & shared by all.

Re Eminent Domain:

As "owner" the government reserves the right, presumably on behalf of 'All'
citizens' to condemn private property [i.e., revoke the lease] for purposes
which again, presumably will potentially benefit 'All' of those citizens.
I refer to "Public Use" by 'All' of those citizens. And by 'All' of those
citizens I do not mean only those few, relatively speaking, who will actually benefit.

In the current context:

1.

A public benefit should not be interpreted as a paltry "tax" or other benefit which
may accrue, such as increased employment opportunities, by virtue of the profits
taken by the true beneficiaries, the private organizations who take over the owner-
ship of the land in question. [which practice will undoubtedly lead to corruption on
the part of government officials.]

The tax and other benefits may indeed be beneficial to the community as a whole,
but is that benefit equitable.. justifiable under the concept of "Just Compensation" ?

There is a transfer of benefits from certain private individuals to certain other private
individuals...-and while the benefit may be substantial and undeniably a good thing
for the community [generally] it remains a benefit and loss to private individuals and
is distributed in an inequitable way.

Can it be said that the "compensation" awarded by the court is in any way equal to
the benefit to be derived by the company which receives the land -or to the
intangible losses felt by the former homeowner ? What is "Just" ? And what is "fair"
when you are weighing the interests of individuals ? -Why is that lady with the scales
wearing a blindfold..?

2.

Public Land Use should not be confused with the [largely] private income and essentially
private benefits derived therefrom. Nor with the [relatively] paltry public income.

e.g., a property may be legitimately condemned for use as a public highway,
[for example] but not for use as a private toll road even though the same public is
being served in essentially the same way. [and even though there is some public
benefit in the form of taxes.]

Individuals who never use the road would prefer tolls, those who do would
prefer to pay taxes. For the government to choose one over the other on the
basis of doing the most good would be to indulge in benign favoritism without
regard for principle or respect for those individuals who happen to be in the
minority.
---------------------------------------------------

This court decision will no doubt make more individuals happy than unhappy,
but it is one which leads on to future corruption and favoritism...

-and that is not the proper function of government in this country!

The 5th amendment is designed to protect those individuals who are least able to
protect themselves.. -particularly vis a vis "City Hall" or the US government !

In the end, it is not really a question of doing the most good [at a profit :-) ],
-it is a question of principle.

-Whatever happened to the principle that "Justice is Blind"..?
CZ Bob
Re: But I far more agree with O'Connor:
----------------------------------------

I do not agree with O'Connor when she says:


[quote]"Who among us can say she already makes the most productive or attractive use of her property?" Justice O'Connor asked.

And: "The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."[/quote]
*

[/quote]

Re "Who among us..."

I may be misreading this, but O'Connor seems to be warning that anyone making less than "the most productive or attractive use of her property?" is or perhaps should be (?) in danger of having that property condemned in favor of a more meritorious homeowner. If so she seems capable of promoting a meritocratic society imposed from above, [shades of Totalitarianism ?] as opposed to the free and democratically meritocratic society on which we pride ourselves.

I happen to live in a community where the homeowner is subject to a fine if his property is not kept up to community standards.

This can be a burden at times but is not unacceptable.

The homeowner is 'free' to leave the community on his own terms if necessary and seek out a more liberal neighborhood.

He is not paid an arbitrary sum ["Just Compensation"] and forced to give up his home to a more compliant homeowner.
That would be unacceptable.

Re "Nothing is to prevent the State from...."

To the extent that this is true, or becoming true we cannot claim to live in a "Free" country.

.
CZ Bob
Just a note.

The wording of the 5th amendment is Public Use... -Not Public Benefit.

Jobs and an increased tax base constitute a benefit, but the land, unlike
as in the 'traditional' condemnation for highways, schools, etc. is not
being 'Used' by the Public. -an interesting distinction which has not
been pointed out.

P.S. I feel a certain sympathy for this topic since not only was my house
and home arbitrarily taken away, but my entire community as well
and without 'just Compensation'.

Thats why I call myself CZ Bob.
hayleyanne
QUOTE
What clearly happened is the city officials deemed that this land would benefit the community if it were to be developed as commercial land. The land was not seized!! The owners were given fair market value. But the way the media is reporting this story you would think people were being kicked out on their rears with nothing to show.

One of my first times as a Juror, I had to hear an eminent domain case where the county was not paying enough for the land it was condemning. And we all sided with the owner of the land an his family got $100,000 more than the county tried to offer.

Eminent Domain exists soley for the betterment of the community. Whether it be a public road or highway, a school, hospital, or even if the government body believes commercial zoning would benefit the area, they have that right to do so


Sleeper-- of course eminent domain is an established rule of law. It happens all the time in our country. However, the ruling crosses the line because it interprets "public use" too broadly. Public use according to the Court, ultimately means the increased tax revenue. The ramifications are obvious and they affect each and everyone of us. The ruling ultimately assigns a greater "value" to commercial property over private use. That type of broad interpretation was not the intent of the fifth amendment.

QUOTE
Jobs and an increased tax base constitute a benefit, but the land, unlike
as in the 'traditional' condemnation for highways, schools, etc. is not
being 'Used' by the Public. -an interesting distinction which has not
been pointed out.


Excellent point CZBob. Public use has been extended to mean something beyond recognition in this case.

I happen to live in a beautiful historic district of a small town. Luckily, the legal status of the district (designated historic) would protect it from this kind of taking by the city. However, if that status were not in place, the city could decide that it needed to raise greater revenue and could demolish our beautiful older homes to make way for commercial buildings or parking lots. w00t.gif

It does not surprise me that the liberal wing of the Court is behind this. It supports greater government power in favor of generating greater tax revenues. It is anti-individual property rights.

I kind of like carlitos reminder about the importance of the other amendments-- like the second amendment -- in cases like this.
Fife and Drum
I’m not totally convinced that Congress doesn’t have a role. They have the ability and responsibility to do the right thing here and more narrowly define the usage of eminent domain. So I’ll place the blame for this absurdity on both the shocking interpretation from the Supreme Court and a congressional body intoxicated with the fermented dough of corporate lobbyist.

There is a ray of hope, provided the local constituency is paying attention.

As it stands, placing the interpretation of “public benefit” at the local level, if any of the atrocities occur (private transfer, shady private to corporate, ripping off the elderly) those who made those decisions would hopefully find themselves on the short side of the next election.

And it’s interesting to see the reverse of this, or the real intent of eminent domain, being compromised here locally (there’s a poster here who lives in the same home town and can possibly verify).

Like most cities, Louisville has an interstate loop around the city to help alleviate downtown traffic. But it’s not quite a loop. The only section that needs finishing just happens to run through the “rich” side of town (there’s an opportunity for here for a partisan slant but I’ll refrain). For 15 years this community has spend untold millions of dollars on studies and they have yet to move one piece of ground that would benefit us all.

But somehow it’s ok to remove an elderly woman from her house for the sake of corporate greed. Where have we gone wrong.
Just Leave me Alone!
ad.gif Louisville would be protected from this currently Fife by State Law.

QUOTE
Eminent domain

Six states allow condemnations for private business development alone: Connecticut, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New York and North Dakota.

Nine states forbid the use of eminent domain when the economic purpose is not to eliminate blight: Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Montana, South Carolina and Washington.

Three states have indicated they probably will find condemnations for economic development alone unconstitutional: Delaware, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The remaining states have not addressed or spoken clearly to the question.

Source: Institute for Justice. The Associated Press


loreng59
I too have read this with total shock and disgust. This is not the America that I spent 9 years of my life defending. I stood for freedom and liberty, even for those that I disagree with, but stealing a person's home and or business so somebody else can make more money!!!! The is more than an outrage, this is the type of event that caused the US to separate from England.

I will gladly go and aid anybody that I can from this evil practice.

This is theft plain and simple.
Sleeper
Call me cold hearted, but didn't a majority of the citizens in the area gladly take market value for their homes and land? The reason the five justices ruled in favor of eminent domain is to prevent a few from hindering the progress of a community for future cases. I believe they had the foresight to see this(look I am agreeing with the liberal side of the SCOTUS, take note!!).

But, as always, here come the extreme and absolutes arguments flying from all ends.
Such as: What now Walmart will have the city take away my land?! Or the Mayor's daughter wants my house and I will be forced to leave it!

I believe the media made this case become a lightning rod with its use of words like "seize" and bulldoze homes" to get under the emotional panties of the U.S. public. And boy did it work.
Looms
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 24 2005, 02:40 PM)
Call me cold hearted, but didn't a majority of the citizens in the area gladly take market value for their homes and land?  The reason the five justices ruled in favor of eminent domain is to prevent a few from hindering the progress of a community for future cases. I believe they had the foresight to see this(look I am agreeing with the liberal side of the SCOTUS, take note!!).

But, as always, here come the extreme and absolutes arguments flying from all ends.
Such as: What now Walmart will have the city take away my land?! Or the Mayor's daughter wants my house and I will be forced to leave it!

I believe the media made this case become a lightning rod with its use of words like "seize" and bulldoze homes" to get under the emotional panties of the U.S. public. And boy did it work.
*



Excellent point! As long as it's just a few losing their homes and facing forced relocation, then it's ok. I do have one question though, what constitutes "a few", in your opinion? 2? 5? 100? 500? Would 499 still be ok, but 500 too much?

Progress of a community? Are you seriously saying that whether or not I get a house taken away that is rightfully mine, should be a "majority rules" scenario? What is the point of private property if it can be taken away at any time and you can do NOTHING about it?

At least communism is HONEST about what it does.

I, personally, am against ANY eminent domain. Period. If the government wants a particular piece of land, they can get in line and pay whatever the seller demands, or leave, like everybody else would have to. With the exception of corporations, that is. mad.gif
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 24 2005, 02:40 PM)
Call me cold hearted, but didn't a majority of the citizens in the area gladly take market value for their homes and land?  The reason the five justices ruled in favor of eminent domain is to prevent a few from hindering the progress of a community for future cases. I believe they had the foresight to see this(look I am agreeing with the liberal side of the SCOTUS, take note!!).

But, as always, here come the extreme and absolutes arguments flying from all ends.
Such as: What now Walmart will have the city take away my land?! Or the Mayor's daughter wants my house and I will be forced to leave it!
*


You're Cold Hearted Sleeper. mrsparkle.gif The fact is that the Corporation could have built around the homes of the people who did not want to sell. It's all about the $$.

What is extreme about the Walmart example? How is taking these people's land for office space and residential homes any different than Walmart taking your home? Now the Mayor's daughter is a bit more of a stretch I admit, but it's the next logical step. I can hear the argument now: "The Mayor's daughter will be happy if she has Sleeper's home. If she is happy, the Mayor is happy. If the Mayor is happy, he/she does a better job and the public benefits. Therefore, forcing Sleeper to sell his home to the Mayor's daughter serves a public purpose(note, public use is now irrelevant due to the precedent set in this case). " How would you defend yourself against that in court Sleeper? Or would you just role over and let her have it?
Sleeper
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Jun 24 2005, 03:10 PM)
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 24 2005, 02:40 PM)
Call me cold hearted, but didn't a majority of the citizens in the area gladly take market value for their homes and land?  The reason the five justices ruled in favor of eminent domain is to prevent a few from hindering the progress of a community for future cases. I believe they had the foresight to see this(look I am agreeing with the liberal side of the SCOTUS, take note!!).

But, as always, here come the extreme and absolutes arguments flying from all ends.
Such as: What now Walmart will have the city take away my land?! Or the Mayor's daughter wants my house and I will be forced to leave it!
*


You're Cold Hearted Sleeper. mrsparkle.gif The fact is that the Corporation could have built around the homes of the people who did not want to sell. It's all about the $$.

What is extreme about the Walmart example? How is taking these people's land for office space and residential homes any different than Walmart taking your home? Now the Mayor's daughter is a bit more of a stretch I admit, but it's the next logical step. I can hear the argument now: "The Mayor's daughter will be happy if she has Sleeper's home. If she is happy, the Mayor is happy. If the Mayor is happy, he/she does a better job and the public benefits. Therefore, forcing Sleeper to sell his home to the Mayor's daughter serves a public purpose(note, public use is now irrelevant due to the precedent set in this case). " How would you defend yourself against that in court Sleeper? Or would you just role over and let her have it?
*



I don't want to take this too far off topic with debating semantics, but that is an extreme argument. It's like if you get in an argument with your spouse and say she is wrong about something, and she blows up and says "Well I guess I am wrong about EVERYTHING!!" Not very logical is it?

QUOTE
I, personally, am against ANY eminent domain. Period. If the government wants a particular piece of land, they can get in line and pay whatever the seller demands, or leave, like everybody else would have to. With the exception of corporations, that is. 


Ah ignorance is bliss... Eminent Domain is used to build roads and highways, hospitals, schools, fire stations, police stations, court houses, museums, national parks, wild life reserves and many many other federal and state run entities. This application of Eminent domain in this case was used for betterment of a struggling community to make better use of the land.
CruisingRam
There is a reason for eminent domain- but history in our country has shown it to be abused often.

First off- Sleeper- "market value"- VERY abused notion- I announce I am putting up a Walmart next to your home- what happens to the property values when nobody can sell thier home now? hmmm.gif - Property values are often and regularly manipulated by the "bad guys"- such as Wal-mart- seen it done here locally.

The LIBERAL side of this court done screwed up big-time. O'Conner is quickly becoming my favorite justice- Scalia and Renquist are obvious sell outs- is she the only one that actually thinks about the constitution now and then?

No one Bush will appoint will be any better than this group- with the exception of O'Conner- they are all corporate lap dogs as well.

Horrible decision. Easily manipulated by greedy corporation and politicians. I hope this spurs some legislative change- but it won't be done by a republican congress- those greedy corps are thier bread and butter.
hayleyanne
QUOTE
The LIBERAL side of this court done screwed up big-time. O'Conner is quickly becoming my favorite justice- Scalia and Renquist are obvious sell outs- is she the only one that actually thinks about the constitution now and then?


How are Scalia and Rehnquist sellouts? They all sided with O'Connor along with Thomas. The justices that issued this God awful decision were Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, Kennedy and Breyer.
Christopher
QUOTE
Eminent Domain is used to build roads and highways, hospitals, schools, fire stations, police stations, court houses, museums, national parks, wild life reserves and many many other federal and state run entities. This application of Eminent domain in this case was used for betterment of a struggling community to make better use of the land.

This is why the second amendment is so very important--go ahead and try to steal from me. Most cases of ED theft are rarely for any "higher community" purpose but a necessity for some developers and land speculators to make more cash by offering complete parcels of land which free developers from having to deal with the needs of existing communities.
They tried it here in AZ in Mesa, trying to shut down some businesses for yet another strip mall-- and were rightfully shut down--I am sure that now thanks to the supremes they will be successful in their theft of other peoples property for the benefit of a few.
If the need to the community is so great then allow all the people f the community to vote on the issue.
Except I guess more freebies to sports teams wouldn't happen and they'd have to pay their own way for a change.

As for "market value" its simple--the intrinsic value of any object is what someone is willing to pay for it--so if I love my home so much and I ask for 100 million--either pay me my asking price or move on under your own power while you still can.
Artemise
QUOTE(CZ Bob @ Jun 24 2005, 12:37 AM)
Re: But I far more agree with O'Connor:
----------------------------------------

I do not agree with O'Connor when she says:


QUOTE
"Who among us can say she already makes the most productive or attractive use of her property?" Justice O'Connor asked.

And: "The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."


Re "Who among us..."

I may be misreading this, but O'Connor seems to be warning that anyone making less than "the most productive or attractive use of her property?" is or perhaps should be (?) in danger of having that property condemned in favor of a more meritorious homeowner. If so she seems capable of promoting a meritocratic society imposed from above, [shades of Totalitarianism ?] as opposed to the free and democratically meritocratic society on which we pride ourselves.



O'Connor wrote this in her dissent. She voted against.

I cant believe im agreeing with the conservatives either, hell has surely frozen over!
I cant even believe the liberal side voted this, it goes against everything we stand for (protecting individuals from corporate ripoffs.)

I think what is the clincher is private-to-private/corporate for profit. Like has been said, too broad a definition of 'public use'.

Cruising- I agree, recently O'Connor has lead the pack in 'doing the right thing'.
Sleeper
Ahh well I can take off my Zorro's mask and stop playing devil's advocate ph34r.gif

Although this decision did overstep some, we do need eminent domain for the betterment of the community.

My major gripe about this wasn't really the decision, but was the media reaction. On the day the story hit. I did not see one broadcast from CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, or NBC identify which judges voted in the majority. Then they flung out terms like seized and bull dozed homes to get a response. And quite frankly it worked to try and place blame on conservatives, look at the responses from the first page of this thread. Almost immediately castigating the 'republican' side of the SCOTUS.

I got to have my cake and eat it too watching and participating in this thread. smile.gif

Edit to add: Reports on Television... Articles on web pages did.
Artemise
Is this possibly the first thread on AD where we have a consensus? All agree, liberals and conservatives together? w00t.gif

Hurrah! History is made!
sorcerer.gif drumroll.gif giveup.gif beer.gif beer.gif flowers.gif

The articles mentioned a Hawaii land distribution case as precendent, in this case the Court unanimously upheld in what looks like a scheme to break a Hawaiian oligopoly, basically, youre not allowed to own TOO much land or we shall redistribute it for you. ( I hear: more legalized native land theft, but theres nothing that says they were all Hawaiians)

http://www.nyclu.org/eminent_domain_lj_article_060105.html

This was a private to private eminent domain case in which O'Connor writes:

"The Court long ago rejected any literal requirement that condemned property be put into use for the general public. It is not essential that the entire community, nor even any considerable portion, directly enjoy or participate in any improvement in order for it to constitute a public use."

So I guess the Court long ago decided that anyone with more cash and a plan can take your property for anything so desired, as long as city officials get their payoff.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jun 24 2005, 05:44 PM)
Ahh well I can take off my Zorro's mask and stop playing devil's advocate  ph34r.gif

Although this decision did overstep some, we do need eminent domain for the betterment of the community. 

My major gripe about this wasn't really the decision, but was the media reaction. On the day the story hit. I did not see one broadcast from CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, or NBC identify which judges voted in the majority. Then they flung out terms like seized and bull dozed homes to get a response. And quite frankly it worked to try and place blame on conservatives, look at the responses from the first page of this thread. Almost immediately castigating the 'republican' side of the SCOTUS.

I got to have my cake and eat it too watching and participating in this thread.  smile.gif
*


laugh.gif us.gif ad.gif Nice. thumbsup.gif It's official. If no one on this site will argue for it, the ruling has to be seriously messed up. The next question is what can we do to protect ourselves? How do we stop this? I checked the ACLU website hoping that they would have a protest or something, and they had absolutely nothing about this ruling. Even the Connecticut chapter did not have anything. Plenty of stuff on the crisis arising from a potential flag burning amendment though. No one seems to want to stand up and defend private property rights. sad.gif

Bush's potential Supreme court nominees is one the main reasons(perhaps only reason for some) to be hopeful since he is in office. There are already 4 big government types and 2 moderates on the court. To think what would happen if Rehnquist were replaced with anything other than a conservative is scary. The Mayor's daughter would definitely be knocking on my door and any plants in my backyard might constitute interstate commerce opening my home to regulation!! I've heard rumors that O'Connor is going to go before Rehnquist. Anything other than a moderate or conservative replacement would do just as much to tip the scales. The only thing I fear from Bush is a nominee that is hardcore prolife and Patriot act. We need constitutionalists. I wish Stevens and Souter would resign soon. Stevens = wacko.gif
4gold
Apparently, there is some discussion over whether yesterday's bonehead decision constitutes judicial activism.
Some people have the incorrect perception that judicial activism simply means a ruling you don't like, or an outcome you don't like. But that's not activism at all. That's just difference of opinion. You can agree with the outcome of a decision and still believe that the basis for the opinion was judicial activism.

In simplest terms, judicial activism is a philosophy that judges should use their power broadly to further justice, especially in the areas of equality and personal liberty. Meanwhile, judicial restraint is a philosophy that the decisions of other branches of government should stand, even when they offend a judge's own sense of principles, unless directly in conflict with the Constitution.

Yesterday's decision was based on the interpretation of the Fifth Amendment words "public use". There are no extrinsic definitions of the words public use in the Constitution, so the opinions of these judges was an intrinsic definition. Intrinsic definitions, obviously, do not mean judicial activism either.

As judge Blackstone opined, the Constitutional words' meaning is the "intentions at the time when the law was made".

So what did the 5 justices think was meant by "public use" at the time the law was made? It's tough to say. They never try to explain it in their opinion. Instead, they just give their own analysis of why increased tax revenues is a basis for public use.

Just because they did not mention the original intent of the amendment does not mean this is a case of judicial activism. First, we have to show that the original intent was not meant for increased tax revenues.

This is how James Madison first proposed the 5th Amendment to the House of Representatives: "nor be obliged to relinquish his property, where it may be necessary for public use, without a just compensation."

Why did the Founders change the phrase?

Unfortunately, the recordkeeping is poor and we do not know why the wording was changed, but most lawyers agree it has something to do with the physical taking of property, rather than the individual's relinquishing.

Supreme Court Justice Chase wrote an opinion in 1798 on the public use clause shortly after the amendment was ratified: "“An act of the Legislature (for I cannot call it a law) contrary to the great first principles of the social compact,cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislativeauthority . . . . A few instances will suffice to explain what I mean. . . . [A] law that takes property from A. and gives it to B: It is against all reason and justice, for a people to entrust a Legislature with such powers; and, therefore, it cannot be presumed that they have done it.”

So what basis do the judges use to imply that the intent of the words "public use" means increased tax revenues? Original intent? Federal papers? Founding Fathers? Nope -- they use Court precedence, mainly Berman and Midkiff. In fact, they make no historical references to the original intent of the amendment. The dissent uses several references (I only listed one here) of the original intent of the word "public use". And where did the basis for "increased tax revenue" come from? This is a first, my friends. That example came straight out of this decision, by the opinions of 5 justices, and now sets a precedence. Their opinion of increased tax revenues is not based on prior precedence, Constitution, original intent, or Congressionally-enacted law (or at least their basis was not typed in the opinion).

Plus, we can all apply some degree of logic here. The Constitution specifically says "public use". The Court ruled that "public use" includes, but is not limited, increased tax revenues, increased jobs, and aesthetic pleasure. But then why have the words public use at all? No government would seize a piece of property for the purposes of decreased revenues, decreased jobs, or aesthetic displeasure. Essentially, yesterday's ruling nullifies the word "public", or at the very least expands the defintion to mean "a positive result".

In my long, long post, I have demonstrated that (1) The intention of the takings clause was not meant for private redistribution at the time of the amendment, (2) that changing the definition of public use to positive results is based only on the justices attitudinal predispositions, and (3) that only precedent basis exists to interpret the the phrase "public use" to mean positive community results. That, my friends, is an egregious act of judicial activism.
Frozny
Let's see. So far we have:

> The Patriot Act
> The marijuana seizing case that interprets "interstate commerce" unreasonably broadly
> This case, which opens the door to corporatism
> COMING SOON - Flag-burning prohibition

Totalitarianism is on the march. That is all I have to say.
Curmudgeon
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Jun 23 2005, 03:36 PM)
I'm not denying your example Curmudgeon, but I'm pretty sure that there was indeed precedent against transfers of private property from a homeowner to another private interest.  (as opposed to 'public use')
*

It was likely sometime in the late 1960's or early 1970's, because I recall discussing it while on strike in 1974, that a former employer erected the "Pink Palace."

There was an article in the Detroit Free Press that described a reporter's first view of Midland when he came to town to write a story. (Probably on a National or World softball tournament.) It was just the first paragraph or two which described the slums and industrial look apparent from the expressway which upset people.

Plans were drawn up for a new corporate headquarters.

The area previously known as "Goat Hill" was "condemned," and the owners reimbursed. Most of the residents were renters, and were simply evicted on a few days notice. I heard first hand from co-workers who had been residents what it was like trying to find another home to rent. Before anyone could mount a legal challenge, the entire area was bulldozed, and the property was transferred to the Corporation. As quickly as it could be built, a new world headquarters was created.

A number of homes along the fence line went through a similar process and became parking lots.

If there was a "public good," involved; it was simply one of aesthetics.

ACredit Union was built on a lot created by condemning a pair of houses that I used to live next to.

My first wife and I had a small home on a large corner lot that we listed with a Realtor. The only offer the Realtor brought us was an offer from the city to purchase it, and "bring it up to current building codes.” We eventually accepted their offer. We closed on a Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning as I drove to work, I heard on the news that the city council had approved demolishing the house. I called the Realtor and asked, “Can we buy another lot somewhere and move the house?” I learned that a demolition crew had been on hand waiting for a call that the demolition had been approved. I stopped after work to find a new basement under construction. The neighbor across the street told me, “It was standing when I went to the store for a quart of milk last night, and there was a hole in the ground when I returned." A manufactured home was moved onto the lot, and the new residents were living there before the sale of the "vacant lot" was approved at the next city council meeting.

The house where we lived while I was in elementary school, high school, and college was "liberated" in 1968 during a race riot. The police explained to my parents that they could not provide police protection for them 24 hours a day, and they would not evict the "tenants." The "tenants" offered them $25 cash to purchase the home. Their attorney at the time, recommended that they keep the property taxes paid and the fire insurance paid. The "tenants" continued to offer $25. Eventually, it burned to the ground, and based on the "routine purchase offers," the insurance company paid them $25.00 as "fair market value" for the loss of their house. A new attorney pointed out that they had never collected rent, had not lived in it for several years, and that in reality, it had been abandoned.

Oh, and I almost forgot about the Midland City Hall Building. The building dept. determined that it was infeasible to make the building handicapped accessible, and persuaded City Council to construct a modern government building to house the city's functions. A few week's before it was ready for occupancy, one of the inspectors in the building department confided in me that there was a movement afoot to preserve the building as an historical monument. They were co-ordinating their inspections to ensure that the final movement of files, papers, etc. to the new building would be circa 5:00 PM on a day that the city council was meeting. The council took note of the fact that everything but the furniture had been moved to the new government building, and approved the demolition of the old city hall. It too, became a vacant lot before Midnight on a Monday night, and the sale to a new owner of a vacant lot in a prime commercial district was completed at the next City Council meeting.

I'm sorry, but I remain convinced that eminent domain has long been used to transfer property from one private owner to anotherprivate owner, and that the Supreme Court merely rubber stamped what has been past practice for a number of years.
CruisingRam
QUOTE(hayleyanne @ Jun 24 2005, 12:30 PM)
QUOTE
The LIBERAL side of this court done screwed up big-time. O'Conner is quickly becoming my favorite justice- Scalia and Renquist are obvious sell outs- is she the only one that actually thinks about the constitution now and then?


How are Scalia and Rehnquist sellouts? They all sided with O'Connor along with Thomas. The justices that issued this God awful decision were Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, Kennedy and Breyer.
*



Because he plainly has set that he is "pro" states rights- until his masters in the Bush regime tell him otherwise-

1) Medical marijuana
2) 2000 election

= sell out to whoever republican is in charge- not to mention his coziness with corporate and republican big wigs.

Sorry to go off topic- but you asked thumbsup.gif
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