Thursday, June 23, 2005

Updated: Supreme Court now officially out-of-control

First, they approve the constitutionality of a law that regulates your speech in a political setting, in clear violation of the 1st Amendment. Today, they just ruled that your local government can force you off your property and hand that property over to a private developer who'll bulldoze your home and put up a shopping mall.

No, I'm not kidding. Read it here. I don't have time to go into too much analysis right now, so check back later.

Update:

Well, I had hoped it was a bad dream, but I see the story being carried everywhere.

::::::::Cities may bulldoze people's homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development, a divided Supreme Court (search) ruled Thursday, giving local governments broad power to seize private property to generate tax revenue.::::::::

Those damn conservative judges! Always bending over the middle class for big business and ruling in their fav- ... What? How did Scalia vote? He was in the minority? You mean, he wanted to rule in favor of the property owners and against the big business interests and developers?

Hmm. Who else wanted to rule against?

::::::::Dissenting were justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as well as Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.::::::::

Yes, that's right kids. The left-leaning members of the Supreme Court - that's John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer - (Kennedy was a Reagan appointee, but all the rest...) all looked at a local government deciding they had screwed up their finances so badly that they needed additional tax revenues and that the best way to get it was to push legal property holders off their land and hand it over to private developers and said that sounded reasonable. The Founding Fathers would be storming the Court with muskets and pitchforks to hear that the US Government was taking land away from a citizen who had committed no crime beyond actually owning property someone else wanted and handing it over to that someone else so they could build something on it and make money for themselves. That the local governments are making tax revenue - which is not certain, I might add - does nothing to mitigate this fact.

I'd like to know how many of the local government officers live in the homes they're going to take away? My guess: zero.

This is a perfect example of the insanity of the Supreme Court these past few years and why there needs to be a serious mechanism to protect the citizens of this country from judges who no longer feel they need to be bound by the law and existing precedent. In the meantime, it's time to fire up the State activism and get laws passed in the other 42 States that don't expressly forbid the use of eminent domain for economic development by private concerns. If those private groups want the land, they can buy it from the owners. If the owners don't want to sell, tough noogies. The rest of us want to feel safe in our homes.