Skip to comments.Eminent Despotism (a column by Tom McClintock)
Posted on 07/21/2005 10:25:15 AM PDT by calif_reaganite
In the days of the old Republic, Americans lived secure in their homes safe in the knowledge that the fundamental responsibility of government was to protect their lives and property from anyone who threatened them no matter how rich, powerful or well-connected. If a widow didnt want to sell her home to a developer, she didnt have to.
That was the end of the matter, unless the developer sent in thugs to beat her up. And government was there to protect her from the thugs.
Under the Kelo decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, government has become the thug. Americans property rights have been eroded for many years, but Kelo represented the final collapse. It is now entirely permissible for government to seize the home of one person for pennies on the dollar to give it to another not for some vital over-arching public necessity, but simply because the new owner can pay more taxes than the old.
The decision completes the transition from the old America of individual rights to a collectivist society where government apportions property from those it doesnt like to those it does. Stripped of all its sophistries and euphemisms, that is the underlying principle that has replaced the property protections in the Bill of Rights.
It now falls to the states to restore to their own citizens the fundamental right to property that the federal government has rescinded. In California, an amendment to the state constitution SCA 15 has been introduced in the state legislature with the bipartisan support of 45 Senate and Assembly co-authors. It restores the original property protections of the Bill of Rights, and specifically prohibits the seizure of one persons property for the private gain of another.
The measure is opposed by the California Redevelopment Association, a group of local officials who are responsible for an epidemic of abusive property seizures across California. In Yolo County, for example, the Board of Supervisors has combined with the Rumsey Indian tribe to seize 17,000 acres of private land to be divvied up between the county and the tribe.
They argue additional protections are unnecessary because California law already requires that a property must be blighted before government can seize it. But blight is so broadly defined as to apply to any neighborhood in California.
Ask Mohammed Mohanna, who came to America from Iran 35 years ago seeking the promise of a free life in a free land. He became a flag-waving American who has spent three decades purchasing and remodeling small storefronts in downtown Sacramento with the aim of ultimately consolidating them into a gleaming new commercial complex. Recently a politically connected tycoon decided upon the same goal but rather than going to the trouble of finding willing sellers the way Mr. Mohanna has done, he is using his political influence to seize Mohannas painstakingly assembled holdings instead.
Mohannas story is a common one. Governments today have the power to take the property of ordinary citizens to give to the rich and powerful and are using that power. And thanks to the Supreme Court, the Bill of Rights no longer stands in their way.
SCA 15 still allows redevelopment officials to seize private property for a genuine public use such as a road or a school or a park.
It even allows them to acquire private property to give to a Walmart or a developer. The only difference is, in that case, theyre no longer allowed to use a gun. They have to do it the old-fashioned way, by negotiating a mutually agreeable price without making threats.
What can you do? Start by calling your local senator and assemblyman and find out if they are co-sponsors of SCA 15, and then let your friends and neighbors know. Because you can be sure of this: any public official who has no moral compunction of stealing your neighbors home or shop is also perfectly willing to steal yours.
We keep electing the same two parties over and over again, and then we are surprised that they nominate judges that think the government can do whatever it wants? That's like being surprised that the kid looks like the parent. America has voted time and time again for big government statism, and that's what was delivered.
Comming soon - towns will put private property on ebay, so the private market can set the tax bill for any given property. Highest bidder gets the property after condemnation...
TERM LIMITS for ALL public porkers whose snouts grace the public trough.
Very well written
McClintock Ping List -- Please freepmail me if anyone wants on or off this list
You missed some excitement around here lately. LOL
My Assemblyman, Doug LaMalfa, has introduced the Assembly version - ACA 22. My local Republican party group is modifying it slightly for local County and City adoption.
Tom McClintock is a member of one of those two parties.
The problem is not with the existence of those parties, it is with the fact that they have politicians running them.
In the case of the Dems, the socialists run the party under the guise of Democracy.
In the case of the Republicans, the libertines in the party are always trying to wrest control from the true conservatives, even if it means both losing to the liberals. They agree with the concept of economic libertarianism, but wrestle over social libertarianism and often yield to the socialists because they are too busy fighting each other.
Take McClintock versus Schwarzenegger as an example.
Both ran for Governor. Schwarzenegger won by pulling Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents over to vote for him. In other words, he stole the Republican party name for a few years.
So the problem is not Dems vs Republicans, its liberals versus conservatives with the libertines taking the pie on occasion.
the first sentence almost sounds like a movie script about a time long ago...!
sadly, we no longer live in a republic nor are we secure in our rights.
This simply isn't true. In the early days of the Republic, barge canal companies and railroads were big beneficiaries of eminent domain. In fact, Abraham Lincoln made his name as a lawyer rigging precisely such deals.
I'm still catching up. Did I miss something good?
the usual but the Supreme court nominee has been top of the charts...
Don't forget the oil companies and mining companies.
That line jumped out at me as well. At least now there is a way to legally contest having your property taken. Back then it was "Sell it to me cheap or I bash your skull, burn the house, and then take your property."
McClintock strikes me as a phony and an opportunist.
I'm a big fan of Tom, but he is a politician trying to get public energy up for passing something important. I don't know if he is in this instance, simply ignorant, or is willing to bend the truth. Either one isn't encouraging.
That was after the "old republic" had died with the fraudulent adoption of the 14th Amendment.
McClintock strikes me as a phony and an opportunist.
I liked you better as ZevonFan.
Keep it up or I'll give ya a couple more spare names for use in the future ,, lol. :-P
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.