Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dark Day in America


This is without the darkest day in America that I have ever personally witnessed in my life.
What about September 11th you may ask? Well, in my opinion today's Supreme Court ruling has knocked that horrifying day into 2nd place. It is one thing to be attacked by foreign terrorist, we can retaliate against them with force, but it is another thing all together for your own government to sell you, your family and your property out to corporate or private developers.

If you haven't heard by now click this link to yahoo news story

This ruling is so depressing, so discouraging, so outrageous that we should be rioting in the streets. Your private property, your home or business, is no longer safe no matter who you are or where you live.

Everything you have worked for in your life can be taken from you by private wealthy developers with the government's blessing.

Hell, you could be a multi-millionaire and own a multi-million dollar complex and a multi-billionaire could come along and force you out.

There is always a bigger fish.

Why are we fighting to install a democracy in Iraq when we are eroding our own?

Did you know that a corporation has the rights of an actual person? It sounds crazy but it's true.
So basically what is happening is that the big bully from down the street can take your lunch money and you can't complain to a cop or a teacher.

The foundation of America has been swept away, the right to own your little slice of the pie. Well it's over. The entire pie belongs to them now.

The intro to O'Connor's dissent sums it up nicely:

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.

And some more:

In moving away from our decisions sanctioning the condemnation of harmful property use, the Court today significantly expands the meaning of public use. It holds that the sovereign may take private property currently put to ordinary private use, and give it over for new, ordinary private use, so long as the new use is predicted to generate some secondary benefit for the public -- such as increased tax revenue, more jobs, maybe even aesthetic pleasure. But nearly any lawful use of real private property can be said to generate some incidental benefit to the public. Thus, if predicted (or even guaranteed) positive side-effects are enough to render transfer from one private party to another constitutional, then the words "for public use" do not realistically exclude any takings, and thus do not exert any constraint on the eminent domain power.

From Thomas's dissent:

[The Court holds], against all common sense, that a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation, is for a "public use."

I cannot agree. If such "economic development" takings are for a "public use," any taking is, and the Court has erased the Public Use Clause from our Constitution, as JUSTICE O'CONNOR powerfully argues in dissent. Ante, at 1-2, 8-13. I do not believe that this Court can eliminate liberties expressly enumerated in the Constitution and therefore join her dissenting opinion. Regrettably, however, the Court's error runs deeper than this. Today's decision is simply the latest in a string of our cases construing the Public Use Clause to be a virtual nullity, without the slightest nod to its original meaning. In my view, the Public Use Clause, originally understood, is a meaningful limit on the government's eminent domain power.


  1. Unbelievable. This country is going down the wrong road, with our freedoms and rights getting sold to the highest bidder.

    Keep fighting the good fight locally, JP.

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  3. i knew you'd take the news hard... be sure to check out the red tide tonite... it'll make you feel a little better! :-)

  4. Yes, we are devastated, too.

    It seems as though our unelected judicial officers, whom we must address as royalty, Your Honor, no matter how dishonarably they may act, have failed to honor the rights demanded by us, and our founding families, in our Bill of Rights!

    According to legal precedent, a ruling must not only be fair, it must appear to be fair. This new "law" is unsupported by the general public, and should be overturned. Privilege, political power, and influence are the authority to which our Supreme Court now bows.

    Redevelopment is a political process, no matter what. Sitting Supreme Court Justices face no political consequences. For such a profound Constitutional finding, whereby might absolutely makes right, more than a simple majority, should be mandatory. 5 out of 9 is not enough, nor should it have been sufficient with respect to the Gore/Bush election controversy.

    We need a Constitutional Amendment. Our Bill of Rights is routinely disregarded, as are our inalienable rights. Judges should not stretch their interpretation so that what they "deem" disenfranchises and disgraces us.

    Our U.S. Attorney General says ours is a country of law, not of man. This is frightening. When the law is decided unjustly, when we lose our inalienable rights, then the Supreme Court Justices have violated their oath of office, and violated their own humanity.


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