The Talking Lion

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

If you're eating at the Just Deserts Cafe, get the Humble Pie

Well, if you make a silly decision you can't expect not to be burned. The decision I am referring to of course is the Supreme Court's 5-4 vote in favor New London (in the case Kelo v. City of New London):
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that local governments may force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed.

The 5 to 4 ruling provided the strong affirmation that state and local governments had sought for their increasing use of eminent domain for urban revitalization, especially in the Northeast, where many city centers have decayed and the suburban land supply is dwindling.

In some bizarro world twist, the 5 didn't include the 3 biggest douchebags on the court (Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist) but the (generally) good Justices:

Stevens was joined in the majority by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

Kennedy's vote was something of a surprise because he had expressed strong sympathy for property-rights claims in past cases. But in a brief concurring opinion he explained that the New London plan showed no sign of improper favoritism toward any one private developer.

O'Connor was joined in her dissent by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. They wrote that the majority had tilted in favor of those with "disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."

And in a separate dissent, Thomas sounded a rare note of agreement with liberal groups such as the NAACP, which had sided with the property owners in the case.

He protested that urban renewal has historically resulted in displacement of minorities, the elderly and the poor."

Regrettably, the predictable consequence of the Court's decision will be to exacerbate these effects," he wrote.

What?!?! Clarence Thomas siding in favor of African-Americans? IS THIS SOME CRAZY OPPOSITE LAND WHERE HOT SNOW FALLS UP?!?!

Well, this story isn't over yet. This case has already been invoked to try to snatch someone's property (press realease):

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Nice. But this isn't the best part. Let's continue:
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Ok, well of course these guys are libertarians/objectivists, which sucks, but on this issue it's easy to agree with them. I wouldnt mind some apple cobbler at the Just Deserts Cafe...


  • While I have some problems with libertarianism, particularly its ahistoricality, I wouldn't exactly say that they suck. And this case does sort of lend creedence to the whole "liberals just want to give the government absolute power" spiel, which I've always denied. Which, to put it mildly, really sucks. A lot more than Ayn Rand's aesthetically uninteresting prose.

    By Blogger Patrick, at Wednesday, 29 June, 2005  

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