Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize HomesIf the ruling wasn't enough to infuriate anyone who holds liberty and the right to ownership of private property dear, the rationale of "law professors" to justify the ruling is enraging.
By HOPE YEN, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Cities may bulldoze people's homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development, a divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday, giving local governments broad power to seize private property to generate tax revenue.
In a scathing dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the decision bowed to the rich and powerful at the expense of middle-class Americans.
The 5-4 decision means that homeowners will have more limited rights. (link)
"The message of the case to cities is yes, you can use eminent domain, but you better be careful and conduct hearings," said Thomas Merrill, a Columbia law professor specializing in property rights.You better be careful and conduct hearings? That's it? Is that a legal opinion or did you get that from a Bazooka bubble gum wrapper? Thirty families are being thrown out on the street in New London, Connecticut so that the local government can hand their property over to a developer who intends to build an office complex, from which he will make a windfall profit, and this learned professor's pithy analysis is, "dude, you better conduct hearings"?
And what profound thought went into this ruling?
Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, said New London could pursue private development under the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property if the land is for public use, since the project the city has in mind promises to bring more jobs and revenue.Right out of Das Kapital. Karl Marx is looking up from the depths of hell with pride.
"Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government," Stevens wrote ...
I think Justice Stevens should be provided a vivid understanding of that which he has wrought. Something that would hit home.
If I were a Washington DC city councilman, I'd publish Stevens' address in the Washington Post and invite local developers to submit bids for his property. The highest bidder, if the bid meets the Supreme Court requirement of "just compensation," should be handed the deed to his property. After all, what these geniuses have decreed is this:
If a local government can realize more tax revenue by ordering the confiscation of private property (a developer takes possession, scrapes the existing structure, and builds a McDonald's on the site, increasing its value and corresponding tax contribution to the government), so be it.
I would get great pleasure from seeing Justice Stevens' fat ass out on the sidewalk surrounded by his worldly belongings. It won't lessen the anger, but it'll go a long way toward equalizing justice in this tortured land of ours.