Sunday, July 03, 2005

Congress Does the Unthinkable--Its Job!

Thanks to Vilmar at Ranting Right Wing Howler for the heads-up that Congress is actually moving to do something about the already infamous (as in sure to go down in history with the worst SCOTUS decisions ever) Kelo case. For those of you who were on vacation orbiting Pluto, that was the case in which Justice Stevens stated that a municipality can use the power of eminent domain to take property and give it to another private owner as a "public use" of the land, so long as "[t]he city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including -- but by no means limited to -- new jobs and increased tax revenue."

Justice O'Connor's dissent summed it up this way: "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random...The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."

Congress is now considering legislation that would hamper if not stop municipalities' efforts to seize private property on behalf of other private interests. Bravo! What interests me is that it takes a real hue and cry by the public to get Congress interested in fighting the Supreme Court, when in fact, this is what Congress's real job is.

We seem to forget that, just because there are only a few of them (as opposed to Congress or the President's administration) and they wear black robes and sit in a nice courtroom and act as though they possess all knowledge and all wisdom, the Supreme Court of the United States is not royalty. They are one part of a system of checks and balances, and it is not incumbent upon or wisefor the other branches of government to roll over and play dead every time the Court lifts its finger in their direction.

The division of authority in the Constitution assumes that mistakes can be made and power can corrupt--that's why we have an executive, a legislative and a judicial branch instead of a sole executive in power. Congress should begin doing its job more often by curbing the Supreme Court's often ludicrous rulings. It's a refreshing change.

UPDATE-- Apparently I made a mistake in my discussion above, so I want to make a correction, forgive me...I said the Supreme Court was not royalty, but one part of a system of checks and balances...Nancy Pelosi has set me straight--she points out that, when the Court rules on a Constitutional issue "It is almost as if God has spoken." Boy, is my face red--here I thought these were just normal humans like you and me, and all along they were deity. Thanks to Jeff at ThinkSink and the Corner at NRO for helping me out on this.

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