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Kelo V. City Of New London

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Groovenstein
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Whether private property should be taken for public use at all is questionable at best. Leaving that question unanswered in this letter, there is no doubt that on June 23, in Kelo v. New London, the U.S. Supreme Court ripped the public use requirement right out of the Fifth Amendment. To those of you whose power lust has been legally sanctioned--those involved with Antelope Valley and other land grabs; government officials on all levels; and you who support the Court's decision--I request the following.

Do not say ever again that you support property rights--you do not. Do not say, "I'm for property rights, but we're talking about the public good." What you are talking about is not rights, but tyranny by majority. You are saying that the whims of the many trump the just claims of the few. Those of you purporting to defend minorities, defend Suzette Kelo. She is an individual--the smallest minority.

Say that you think the government should own everything. Say that you think property rights are an abomination. Say that you think whatever the majority wants, the majority should get. Though you would be wrong, at least you would be honest.

In addition to being honest about your position, you must be consistent in applying it to your own life. If you think property rights are an abomination, do not complain when a robber takes your handbag, for you too have robbed--morally, if not literally. If you think whatever the majority wants, the majority should get, do not cry when they vote your rights away. Do not protest when it is your door the public sends the storm troopers to break down.

Those of you supporting this decision, you got what you deserved. Those of you sharing my outrage, in the name of what is right, please let your voices be heard.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's an excellent opportunity to write a letter to the editor. BB&T Bank has said that it will not lend to projects that have used eminent-domain coercion. It would be a good idea to write letters pointing out their action, saying why it is the moral thing to do, and suggesting that other banks do the same. Let's champion the good guys.

Any volunteers to draft a letter like this?

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A lot of bloggers picked up on this story. I decided to draft a short outline that I can use as letter-to-editor as well as in comments on blogs. Here it is...

In Kelo v. New London, the U.S. Supreme Court ripped the public use requirement right out of the Fifth Amendment. They sanctioned the tyranny of unrestrained democratic government. Suzette Kelo (the individual--the smallest minority) stood defenceless.

It's inspiring to see a bank like BB&T stand up for individual rights. Other banks, businesses and people should follow suit. Else, tomorrow it may not be Suzette Kelo who needs defending -- it may be you.

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Whether private property should be taken for public use at all is questionable at best. Leaving that question unanswered in this letter, there is no doubt that on June 23, in Kelo v. New London, the U.S. Supreme Court ripped the public use requirement right out of the Fifth Amendment.

I'm not a big fan of these two sentences of mine. The first one grants legitimacy to an idea that does not deserve it. The second is not so bad, but its point is that the case strips "public use" of any meaning. The point should be that "public use" shouldn't even be there.

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  • 2 months later...
This op-ed in the WSJ contrasts the approaches of two cities in California: Garden Grove uses eminent domain to spur economic development while Anaheim does not do so. Further, when issuing permits, Anaheim is not concentrating as much on "how much new tax will this bring to our city?" Guess which one is seeing more economic development.
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  • 1 year later...

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