SCOTUS has refused to revisit the recent Kelo decision:
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday refused to reconsider one of its most controversial rulings of the 2004-05 term: a 5-4 decision upholding a Connecticut city’s use of eminent domain to acquire private property for a redevelopment plan anchored by a private business.
The order denying a rehearing did not come as a surprise because the court seldom reconsiders one of its decisions. But few rulings have provoked such public outrage as the court’s June 23 decision in Kelo v. New London.
In that case, the court held that New London, which had been designated a distressed municipality, could acquire the property of Susette Kelo and eight other residents of the city’s Fort Trumbull neighborhood and use the land for an elaborate development surrounding a $300 million Pfizer pharmaceutical company research facility.
In other Kelo news, the folks at Q and O are about as thrilled with the recent antics of New London city leaders as I was last week.
Why should THAT branch of the government admit they’re wrong if no one else will…?
Am I the only one annoyed that this decision is being used as an example of an out of control judicary? People who are doing everything possible to strip the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review are mad here because the court didn’t overturn a law.
The cry is always, “If you don’t like the law, use the legislative branch.” Why is this case different?
yet another jeff
Why is it different? Because…it just is. Remember, it’s only “activism” if one doesn’t agree.
As it always has been, the function of government to redistribute upward.
The poor man’s property is taken, his work is taken, his life is taken.
And all acording to the law in that state. Don’t blame the SCOTUS, blame the state
It’s not judicial activism, it’s just poor judicial decision-making. At least the publicity is motivating a lot of states and municipalities to enshrine restrictions on eminent domain into law.
Looks like the imperal court is going to allow the kelo decision to stand and just look at revolution its cuased frankly all five of those judges should lose their judicial spots and lose their home as well it would serve them right to go homeless
The judicial decision making was just fine. State policy making? Local execution of the state policy? Maybe not so good.
How many of you grousing about the decision would be much happier if the city or the state had confiscated the land to turn it into a park or a wildlife preserve? Maybe a fair portion of the critics, I don’t know. But my sense is that the main problem is that folks don’t like the idea of eminent domain at all. A fair opinion, but tough. It’s been part of our legal system for the better part of a thousand years, I suspect.
They refused to revisit Dred Scott and took 58 years to revisit Plessy. Rehnquist should stop this 5-4 nonsense and tell the judges, no decision unless 6 agree
5-4 tells me they don’t know elbows for orifices
I hope Thomas becomes chief and straightens this out
BTW people are going the legislative route on this one because it is available. When judges rule something “unconstitutional” the only way to reverse is the amendment route.
Poor Don didn’t get the results he wanted.
Look, the Supreme Court was upholding a state law that has precidence. They basically said its for the State to decide.
I thought you Republicans wanted States rights?
Or maybe thats just because you want to reinstall slavery in the south.
*Shrug* I believe that it was a poorly decided case based upon fact that it transfered it to another private party. Had it been for a highway, park, wilderness reserve, what-have-you I would have deemed it Constitutional, IMNSHO.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe losing your property to an eminent domain land grab and have it given to a subsidized company that is raping the US for life saving drugs is a disgusting end. BUT, the law says the state can do it. Don’t like it? Get your state to change the laws, speak out, make sure people are educated and aware.
The SCOTUS is just following precidence and constitutionality, even if you don’t agree with it.
The purpose of the Constitution (and therefore the Supreme Court) is to protect the rights of the minority, including the right to property. The purpose of the legislature is to project the will of the majority. This is a case that should have been handled by the Supreme Court as a protection of an individual’s property through unconstitutional usage of eminent domain, and to hell with what his neighbors think. A person shouldn’t have to lobby local legislatures for their basic rights. Thanks to Kelo, now they do. The fact that the decision was 5-4 shows that the precedent isn’t clear; it was a judgement call, and the SCOTUS made the wrong judgement.
I wonder if they’ve made any progress on seizing Justice Souter’s home?
You know, the scary thing is we already have a 4th Amendment. What can they do? Add the words “and we mean it!” to the end?
I simply cannot concur with that. This is taking for private use, therefor unconstitutional.
You mean would some of us thought differently if it had been for public use, therefor not constitutionally prohibited? Yeah, I’m not a big fan of eminent domain overall but I wouldn’t have been as bothered by this reach to ignore the very clear ‘private’ nature of the taking.
Good points Don. When we think of “eminent domain,” we think of things that are either necessary for the public good, like power lines, roads, railroads, etc., or at the very least something for public use like a park.
We usually don’t think of putting in a Starbucks.
Woah. You’re including railroads as a public use? Railroads for the most part, particularly in the heyday of seizing land for their construction, were not owned and/or operated by government or its political subdivisions.
So, if parks are o.k. and if railroads are o.k., the objection isn’t that the land is being seized, and it’s not that the land is being seized to be given to a private entity. Seems to me that once we get beyond this threshhold, we’re beyond a bright line test. If the line drawing is more or less arbitrary, disagreement is certainly possible, but heated outrage seems misplaced.
Also, it might be helpful to recall what the economic development plan was, lest we start thinking this was simply a matter of taking from Mr. Smith and giving to Starbucks:
From Kelo v. City of New London
the reason I didn’t get into that is that the Supreme Court (from what I can tell) didn’t get into that portion either. They reviewed the law, didn’t find that it explicitly violated the Constitution and everything basically remained the same. The specifics of the case were less than important by the time it got to the SCOTUS.
Why do you put the word “unconstitutional” in quotes? Do you not believe that some laws are in fact unconstitutional?
Bernard – not the ones he likes.
I’d say one salient point with regards to a railroad is that while the trains on the tracks are privately owned and the rails themselves are maintained (and owned? someone know this?) by the railroad, the land under those rails continues to be owned and controlled by the government with, presumably, the right to revoke that usage.
ot, but related — did you happen to see this:
Treasury Department Claims Power to Seize Gold, Silver–and Everything Else, GATA Says
Monday August 22, 8:45 am ET
MANCHESTER, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 22, 2005–The U.S. Government has the authority to prohibit the private possession of gold and silver coin and bullion by U.S. citizens during wartime, and, during wartime and declared emergencies, to freeze their ownership of shares of mining companies, the Treasury Department has told the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee.
But gold and silver owners aren’t alone in such jeopardy. For the U.S. Government claims the authority in declared emergencies to seize or freeze just about everything else that might be considered a financial instrument.
The Treasury Department’s assertions came in a letter to GATA dated August 12 and written by Sean M. Thornton, chief counsel for the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, who replied to questions GATA posed to the department in January. It took GATA six months and some prodding to get answers from the Treasury, but the Treasury’s reply, when it came, was remarkably comprehensive and candid.
The government’s authority to interfere with the ownership of gold, silver, and mining shares arises, Thornton wrote, from the Trading With the Enemy Act, which became law in 1917 during World War I and applies during declared wars, and from 1977’s International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which can be applied without declared wars.
While the Trading With the Enemy Act authorizes the government to interfere with the ownership of gold and silver particularly, it also applies to all forms of currency and all securities. So the Treasury official stressed in his letter to GATA that the act could be applied not just to shares of gold and silver mining companies but to the shares of all companies in which there is a foreign ownership interest.
Further, there is no requirement in the law that the targets of the government’s interference must have some connection to the declared enemies of the United States, nor even some connection to foreign ownership. Anything that can be construed as a financial instrument, no matter how innocently it has been used, is subject to seizure under the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
It would serve the city officials of New London right if these benighted residents started an insurgency and conducted a jihad. What’s going on here is pure, damned vindictiveness because the residents sued for relief. It’s despicable.
Congress better get busy rectifying this matter, or there’s likely to be an insurgency across the country that makes the unpleasantness in Baghdad look like a grade school food fight.