- I could probably include the unsettling need on the part of a sizeable number of Americans to prevent others from smoking - to the point where they will force smokers to stand outside an office building in sub-zero weather in order to catch a few drags on that Marlboro. Something about a health issue, as I recall the zealots proclaiming.
- There are those who see a horrific crime being committed by evil people and, rather than choose to punish the evildoers, they demand that the government confiscate the property of Americans who have never committed a crime - namely their firearms. It's for the common good, you see.
- There are those in this country who are envious of the rich and find it perfectly acceptable for us to confiscate their wealth. Something about fairness, I think they say.
Add to this list the power of your government to seize your property and to give it to someone else.
Just as I fume when I hear of some "jurist" claiming that there is a right to abortion in the Constitution or that there is a "separation of church and state" in the Constitution, I cringe when I read about a lawyer claiming a municipality has the right to seize private property and turn it over to another private entity - and that it is in the eminent domain clause of the Constitution.
A NEW BREED OF TAX TYRANT
By NICOLE GELINAS
JUSTICE Antonin Scalia cut to the heart of the case: "So you can always take from A and give to B if B pays more taxes?"
Amazingly enough, the answer he got was yes — "if there are significantly more taxes." So Wesley Horton, an attorney for New London, Conn., told the Supreme Court last week.
If a majority of the court buys Horton's logic, the Supremes will create a beast of municipal taxation that could swallow whole neighborhoods across the nation.
The case, Kelo vs. City of New London, turns on New London's effort to condemn a neighborhood of well-kept middle-class homes. It wants to hand that land over to developers — to build luxury waterfront condominiums, an upscale hotel and some office space.
The Constitution does allow the government to take private property for a designated "public use" after paying the private owners. And for most of two centuries, "public use" meant the obvious: A government would buy a line of houses and raze them to build a highway, for example. But creative mayors and governors have come a long way from there. (link)
This is frightening stuff, folks. I hope you are all paying close attention.