The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.
So much for private property rights. Kennedy and Souter voted with the majority, proving once again just how essential it is that Bush picks somebody reliably - and permanently - conservative when there's an opening.
You can Pi** and Moan about the "Patriot Act"
all you want guys, this
is a real example of your most important rights being lost.
I can't think of any right more important to most Americans than the right to own property protected from the vicissitudes of local government and now that's in serious jeopardy.
Keep in mind these are liberal
justices deciding to give your property to Wal-Mart!
The requirement to pay fair market value is a grossly inadequate safeguard on government power for two reasons in "Kelo."
First, it fails to take into account the subjective valuations placed on the property by people whose families have lived on the land, in at least one case, for a 100 years.
In other words, if the Supreme Court rules for the city, the government will be able to seize land at a price considerably below the reservation price of the owners.
Second, unlike the prototypical eminent domain case, in which the land is seized to build, say, a school or road, in this case the city is using eminent domain to seize property that will then be turned over to a private developer.
If this new development increases the value of the property, all of that value will be captured by the new owner, rather than the forced sellers. As a result, the city will have made itself richer (through higher taxes), and the developer richer, while leaving the forced sellers poorer in both subjectivly and objectivly.
Justice O'Connor's dissent makes the point eloquently: "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."
I am not impressed at the Supreme Court’s record in this current session.
A small prediction, the reverberation of this case are going to be huge
and will probabaly affect the 2008 elections at all levels, local, state and federal.
<small>[ 06-23-2005, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: Haggis@wk ]</small>