Skip to comments.U.S. Supreme Court destroys the right to private property
Posted on 06/23/2005 12:12:48 PM PDT by truth49
OLYMPIAThe U.S. Supreme Court today ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that local governments can seize private property for private development even when that property is not put into use for the general public.
Susette Kelo is a private homeowner in New London, Connecticut. When she and several other neighborhood residents refused to sell their property to the New London Development Corporation, a private developer, the city used its power of eminent domain to condemn the private homes and businesses.
Eminent domain is the legal authority for a governing body to confiscate private property for public use, as outlined in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
New London officials announced plans to raze the homes in order to build high-end condominiums, a luxury hotel and several office buildings, arguing that private development serves a public interest in boosting economic growth.
Ed O'Connell, the lawyer for the New London Development Corporation, told The New York Times, "We need to get housing at the upper end, for people like the Pfizer employees."
The U.S. Supreme Court was asked to determine if the Fifth Amendments public use requirement offered any protection for individuals like Kelo whose property is being condemned for the sole purpose of private economic development.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court deferred to the city and ruled against Kelo and other property owners. The city has carefully formulated a development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including, but not limited to, new jobs and increased tax revenue, wrote Justice John Paul Stevens in the majority opinion.
In other words, the Court believes your property belongs to the highest bidder, said Bob Williams, president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF). EFF was just one of a diverse group of property rights and individual liberty activists who filed 25 friend of the court amicus briefs with the Supreme Court urging the justices to end the abuse of eminent domain.
This decision is an unacceptable assault on the constitutional right to private property, said Williams. It means that no home, church or business is safe if government officials decide they have a better use for the property.
He continued: This decision also disenfranchises poor and middle class property owners who cant afford to defend their homes.
Public interest groups like the Evergreen Freedom Foundation and the Institute for Justice will continue to fight for property rights, but citizens must demand that their state legislatures pass laws that ensure that every persons home is truly his or her castle, said Williams.
If the legislature does not take steps to protect property rights, Williams warned that the people must do so themselves at the ballot box.
Kelo v. City of New London
Kelo amicus brief
We need a constitutional amendment eliminating the Supreme Court.
The real question is, at what level does a ruling justify judicial Impeachment? Democraps could not standby, because this ruling hits everyone no matter what their political affiliation is!
it makes one wonder if our country's fathers should have john locke's provision for the right to own property in the Declaration of Independence, along with the right to life.
i guess they just figured something like this couldn't happen in this country, since an individual's right to own property has always been assumed.
Another snippet on this disaster for American rights of ownership ----
The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut (search) residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.
As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.
Writing for the court, Justice John Paul Stevens (search) said local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community. States are within their rights to pass additional laws restricting condemnations if residents are overly burdened, he said.
"The 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," Stevens wrote in an opinion joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.
As we note the names of the supporting leftist activist justices. Yes, more power to the government at your expense of freedoms and protection of your property rights. If this does not SHOW TO THE WORLD what a platform for socialist judicial activism that the Supreme Court has become, they deserve what they are getting....SOCIALISM FOR THE UNITED STATES.
Chairman Mao's General Store coming to your backyard...
now where did I put that "Chinese For Dummies" book???
ain't it time for some of these Lefties with the Supremes to retire or die!!!
But then the legislatures could keep doing things like abusing eminent domain, and there'd be NO CHANCE to stop them with the courts ...
Disgusting. Our Constitution now has barely more practical meaning than those of China and the former USSR.
Believe it our not, the people are DU are as disgusted as we are at the ruling. The only thing different is they know it is their own people who made this ruling.
While talking with a friend shortly after this was announced he said almost the identical thing - and he is a Democrat. (but I don't hold that against him)
Start thinking about a campaign, people.. let your senators, congressmen know. Recourse would be by amendment. What a sickening decision.
It is time for Bush
to go to congress
with a simple request
to the court from the other two branches of government,
with regard to this ruling:
"go ahead, try to enforce it"
and then Bush should put federal marshalls in charge of protecting the private property about which the court made its ruling.
I'm actually glad to hear that. Like the FEC threatening to censor political websites, this isn't a left vs right issue, it's rent-seeking special interests against private individuals.
You forget that the Democrats only care about the victims of corporations, NOT victims of government.
This rulilng makes it easier for Corporations to get the help of goverment in any possible victimizing.
Actually there is some question where private property comes from in the first place.
would be ironic if the government took my home for a public park, leaving me virtually homeless, yet I couldn't live in the park.
I was just thinking of going to the DU to see what the reaction was. I just knew that they would be outraged too.
This is going to make the Democrats look like fools when they filibuster Bush's conservative court nominations. I see a Scalia, Chief Justice in the future.
I have half a notion to email Harry Reid and taunt him.
It appears totally ineffective, now.
Where does it come from, Rightwhale?
In 1776, this would have created a riot. Boston would be burning right now.
In 2005, not only is there no riot, the liberal elite in Boston is probably saying "Quite right, too".
I say don't just complain here but email your house rep and senators and demand a new constitutional amendment so that the 5 idiots on the SC will now know what "Public Use" means in the 5th amendment. Here is the text I used, use or abuse as you see fit
What are they saying in England?
Judge. Rope. Tree.
Some assembly required.
Criminal Number 18F
Frankly this case hasn't made it to the news here.
I was really looking forward to buying my first home this year. Now I'm not so sure.
If I ever left England, I would choose between America and Australia. Australia just shifted a touch more in favour.
"I was lurking at the DUmp, and they are as outraged as us. This goes beyond party lines and is ahuge issue. In translation on freerepublic agreeing with DUmp:"
Yeah, me too. I read that SD O'Connor was the only Supreme that showed descent on this issue. Now you post that the DUmmies are also outraged.
This day in 2005 I find myself agreeing with SD O' and the DU. Holy Cow, am I a liberal now? Where's my bottle cyanide capsules?
I know the feeling, I signed up recently (multi-year lurker) but have come down on the same side as "the wrong side" on this and another big issue ... I keep looking for dark clouds above.
The "real" in real estate means royal. (Spanish from real or royal, and Latin regalis, regal). In other words real estate belongs to the king. Those who doubt that can try not paying their taxes (rent) and see who owns it.
I suddenly feel much worse, thanks. :)
The author highlighted the wrong word. It's not the public, it's the use.
Is the land being seized for public use or public interest? Can anyone use the office buildings and luxury hotel the way they can use a freeway exit?
Wondering what the local government must pay for your home, once it decides to condemn. Anyone know the particulars on the New London case?
But government just gained the right to make sweetheart deals with developers, by depriving the people of another right, this time a shockingly important one.
IMO, it's a good example of money and government getting in bed together, and a good reason why big government isn't conservative. Republican Party, take note.
Having said that, my understanding of how the Supreme Court could make such a tragic ruling is that a majority of the justices are not big money, but socialist in outlook.
In any case, between the recent Interstate Commerce Clause ruling and this one, it has really been brought home to me how fragile our freedom is. Or was. I guess the years of moving left during the 20th century have truly come home to roost.
Where do you think?
I bought mine on the free market.
The origin was when the State created the right to bequest against the clan and in favor of the family. That is when the modern State itself began.
What a joke this country is becoming.
Phewwwwww! I've already given up.
This country is a rotting shell of what it was a mere 30 years ago.
I guess I'm just waiting around for someone to organize the pitchfork brigade...
Agreed Rightwhale, but I was just reading Justice Thomas' dissent, in which he explained that the framers considered property ownership a natural right. So, like all natural rights that we have (had), although the state was put in place to guarantee them, it did not provide them.
I have a feeling that the Magna Carta has a place in this discussion, perhaps you know where, if that is so?
Can there be any doubt, to useful idiots like Bob Barr, what the ACLU really stands for? Their former top lawyer today joined the ruling to give the government the right to take your property away from you. Hey Bob Barr, why don't you STFU about how great these Communists scumbags are?
Here's your campaign...
Send a copy of this decision in INSTEAD OF your Property Tax Payment!
Make it Nation-wide...tell them "Hell, if I don't OWN it, YOU pay the taxes!"
Then get the guns ready for what comes nexty...if THIS decision ISN'T overturned VERY soon, there will be Blood in the streets!
Unlike England, we do not have the natural three estates. We have one estate and the necessary checks and balances have had to be built into the procedures and methods of election and appointment. Justice Thomas may be correct in his interpretation as far as that goes, but he must also be aware that natural property ownership is a far less powerful entity than is state-recognized property with deeds and titles. The first is mere ownership by possession and is subject to the next person who comes along with a stronger arm and a covetous eye. The second is true property