Out of Control Policy Blog

More on SCOTUS Kelo Decision

The Kelo decision (see previous post) is rippling through the blogosphere today. Here are some items worth checking out:

  • Susette Kelo (plantiff in the case): Even in defeat, and soon to have her home handed to Pfizer, Ms. Kelo holds her head high..."I was in this battle to save my home and, in the process, protect the rights of working class homeowners throughout the country. I am very disappointed that the Court sided with powerful government and business interests, but I will continue to fight to save my home and to preserve the Constitution."
  • Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit), via MSNBC: "If you doubted that we're seen mostly as sources of revenue to be milked for the benefit of Big Government and its constituency groups, today's Supreme Court decision in the Kelo case, essentially holding that state and local governments can condemn your property and turn it over to private businesses for private purposes so long as they expect the turnover to produce higher property tax revenues, should settle things.

    It used to be that tax revenues were to be spent promoting the public good. Now, apparently, they're a public good in and of themselves."

  • Arguing With Signposts: "The main problem I have with this ruling is that it represents a further encroachment by government on the rights of the individual (never thought you'd hear me saying that, eh?). The same side of the court that is so bent on "a woman's right to choose" is content to trample on the home ownership rights of citizens in the name of nebulous concepts like 'economic development.'

    My prediction? Abuse. Abuse. And more Abuse. Can anyone say 'new athletic stadiums'? 'New Wal-Marts'? 'New strip malls'?"

  • Instapundit: the first line says it all..."OUR STATIST SUPREME COURT STRIKES AGAIN: They've had quite a run lately."
  • Instapundit II: "I suspect that this decision -- somewhat like Bowers -- will cause a lot of activists to shift their focus to state legislatures and state courts. One difference: State legislatures, and sometimes state courts, are in the pockets of real estate developers and corrupt local politicians in a way that they weren't beholden to anti-gay-rights activists. So it'll be a lot harder. This may also lead to a greater focus on local politics by political activists (and bloggers!) of all stripes. That, at least, would probably be a good thing."
  • Andrew Sullivan: "If you grow pot in your attic solely to help you survive chemotherapy, you can be prosecuted by the feds under the "inter-state commerce" rationale. Now you can have your property stolen by Walmart and be unable to get any recompense either, as long as your local representatives, financed by the real estate lobby, go along. Is this an unfree country or what? And, of course, none of this breaks new ground. That's the really depressing part. It seems to me that the most inspired pick for the Supreme Court would be a thoroughgoing economic and social libertarian. The freedom-loving part of the Republican coalition has already been alienated in so many ways by this administration. A libertarian SCOTUS pick would go some way to winning them back."
  • ProfessorBainbridge.com: "So much for private property rights. Kennedy and Souter voted with the majority, proving once again just how essential it is that Bush pick somebody reliably - and permanently - conservative when there's an opening."
  • NashvilleFiles.com: "Congress should forget about a useless flag burning amendment (or even a gay marriage amendment) and start looking at passing an amendment immediately that would clarify just what the 5th amendment means...and they might as well throw in a clarification on the Commerce Clause."
  • Will Collier (aka VodkaPundit): "The localities are still required to pay 'a just price' when one of these takings occurs, but the price even a willing seller would be able to get from his property just took a huge hit. All a developer has to do now is make a lowball offer and threaten to involve a bought-and-paid-for politician to take the property away if the owner doesn't acquiesce.

    Disgraceful."

  • SCOTUSBlog discussion forum: Just check it out...lots of opinions rolling in on this one.
  • Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters: "I recall the words of Mark Twain, who famously lost a copyright case involving a bootleg publication of one of his novels despite having the law clearly on his side...Upon his loss, he remarked that since the judge was so cavalier with Twain's property, Twain planned to offer the Judge's house up for sale -- and if he got a good enough offer, he might let the buyer take the contents as well.

    Can anyone come up with a good use for Justice Stevens' house? A bowling alley or a Bennigans, anything that improves the tax base for his community? We could urge its confiscation under eminent domain and perhaps put in a Mark Twain Museum instead. Now that would be justice."

There's certainly more feedback to come on this decision...

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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