|Welcome!||About Us||Archived Articles||References & Research||Links|
Check out www.LimitEminentDomain.org
Imminently concerned: A local view of eminent domain
Cupertino's land use shot heard far and wide
Eminent Domain Project at Standstill Despite Ruling
Blight Makes Right: October 26, San Diego
Eminent Domain in N.J. - Now They Just Steal Land
Senate & Assembly Committee Joint Interim Hearing on Redevelopment & Blight. Weingart City Heights Library, S.D.
PROPERTIES THROUGHOUT MOST OF BERKELEY LIKELY TO BE SUBJECT TO "TAKING" BY EMINENT DOMAIN
Senate bill would blunt property ruling
Conference on Redevelopment Abuse
San Jose, California. 95103
email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
:: RETURN TO FRONTPAGE NEWS ::
July 09, 2005
Black-robed Robin Hoods
Posted: June 27, 2005
By Barbara Simpson
Picture this: Ruth Bader Ginsberg wearing a snug, green outfit, complete with tights. Then picture four of her high-court compatriots, John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer doing the same.
It's a tough visual, I admit, but given their property-rights ruling, we now know what those members of the U.S. Supreme Court must be wearing under their black robes.
It wasn't legal, but it was such a nice thing to do and, after all, those nasty property-owning rich people just had too much. And that wasn't fair.
Apparently, it still isn't, and while the concept of "the state knows best for everyone" failed in fascist and communist hands – just ask the people in Russia who are only now learning what it's like to own private property – it appears that our top lawmakers decided it's worth a try for us.
Oh, I know the Supreme Court justices don't make law. Just read the Constitution and you'll know what their role is, and they don't make law.
Or, do they?
In fact, yes they do, and this activist court does. This gang of five handed down a ruling on June 23 that not only undermines the Constitution, it changes the way property is handled and regarded in our country.
Because of these five, it's now open season on private property anywhere and you are the target, whether you're rich or poor. It isn't about taking from the rich, it's about taking from anyone so someone else can get richer and the government can rake in big bucks in new taxes.
It was a 5-4 ruling in perhaps the most important property-rights case ever, Kelo v. City of New London. Justice Stevens wrote for the majority and was joined by Ginsberg, Souter, Kennedy and Breyer.
Under their ruling, there's essentially no such thing as private property in the United States. World government advocates must be smiling.
These five justices have produced a land-use ruling that not only violates the Constitution, but also puts us on the fast track to fascism.
According to them, all the land in this country is essentially owned by the government – local, country, state or federal.
Oh, you can "buy" it, mortgage it, spend years of your life making payments on it, pay taxes on it, maintain and improve it, and yes, love it and share the most personal parts of your life in it. But ultimately, you don't own it because at any moment, for any whim, government at any level can force you out, bulldoze your home, take over every inch of "your" land property and give it to private ventures to develop for their own profit.
Nice deal if you can get it and our Supreme Court made it not only possible but legal, and according to them, constitutional.
Justice Stevens said they didn't "minimize the hardship that condemnations may entail" even though the owners would get "just compensation."
As though the full value of homes and land is just monetary. But now, it all comes down to the power of the state, the influence of developers, the greed of politicians and 30 pieces of silver thrown at powerless "owners."
Private property? Not anymore. Remember the date: Thursday, June 23, 2005. That's when those five Supreme Court justices ruled against 15 homeowners of New London, Conn., and for the city.
It means is that New London can condemn their property, take it under eminent domain and use the land for a private development: offices, a health club and a riverfront hotel – in essence, government taking private property and turning it over to private developers.
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states clearly that private property can only be "taken" under eminent domain for public use: roads, bridges, public utilities, etc. which will benefit the public at large.
The kicker in this ruling is that the majority of the court has changed the meaning of "public use."
Shades of George Orwell!
Now, "public use" means "public benefit." In that light, it's a "public benefit" to build a commercial building in which people will work and a "public benefit" to put up expensive structures which will generate higher property and sales taxes for the government.
Let's face it, that riverfront hotel and office building will bring in more taxes than the homes of New London's residents, several of whom have lived in their homes for more than 50 years. How much would be "just compensation" for them, and who decides?
But they'll have no choice. Neither will any of the other owners in the largely low-income area. Some have said they'll simply refuse to leave. Then what?
Writing a stinging dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said "Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner so long as it might be upgraded." (Italics are mine.)
And don't feel smug if you live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. You're just as vulnerable and so are churches.
Under this ruling, communities can rezone your land for open space and your neighbor's property to create high density, in-fill housing – read that as apartments and condos. Better start packing.
If your land is rezoned under you because of the "public benefit" of more housing, businesses or green-space, and if politicians are lured by state and federal money, you, my friend, are on the road to condemnation.
Some say we should amend the Constitution to make certain this isn't allowed. Think about it: They're suggesting we amend the Constitution to prevent what the Fifth Amendment already prevents.
Our Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves. The real question is do we have what it takes to take back our Constitution from the maw of judicial socialism?Posted by Coalition Webbies at July 9, 2005 02:39 PM