Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Government Can Take Your House--Yeah, That's Right, Your House...

The Supreme Court today, in a decision that is going to have long-term deleterious effects across this country, said that local governments may use the power of eminent domain to seize private property, not just for public projects, but so that it can be "handed off" to different private ownership the government prefers.

The case involved homeowners in a Connecticut working-class neighborhood whose homes are being taken to develop a hotel, a health club and offices. The Court (the "Fab Five" of Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer and Kennedy) held that (although they seem to think they are the final word on everything else in America) this was a decision better left to the municipality.

John Paul Stevens wrote the opinion of the Court, in which he opined that, if the municipality has a plan that will provide benefit to the community, they can take YOUR house and give it to somebody else, over your objection. Not to build roads or schools, as has been the traditional role of the use of eminent domain, but to put in a casino, to build a mall, or to do anything else they think is in the interest of creating jobs or raising the tax base.

Family farmer? Watch out--if the town can turn a tax buck by subdividing you, you're toast. Own waterfront property? Better hope it doesn't look good to a condo developer. On the bright side? Maybe you're a developer that can't get that last hold out to sell...just grease a couple of palms on the local board and, voila! The benefit to the community outweighs the hardship on the owner and your problem is fixed. See ya', Grandma.

This is the kind of decision that is slowly eroding this country and turning it 180 degrees from where it began...After today, we all know that none of us really "owns" anything...we just have it on loan from the government until the government gives it to somebody else.

"Stop The ACLU" Blogbursters

Your Political Profile

Overall: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
How Liberal / Conservative Are You?