Saturday, June 25, 2005

Some Support for Kelo v. New London

Ann Althouse says the Supreme Court’s ruling on Kelo v. New London isn’t all that bad.

Opposition to Kelo has been so widespread, I was wondering if anyone had a reasonable argument in support of the Court’s decision. Althouse offers a pretty good one, although I’m still unconvinced that Kelo is a good ruling. You should definitely read for yourself what Althouse has to say, but I think she’s putting a little too much trust in the honesty of developers and local governments.

The problem with Kelo is it opens the door for some serious abuses. Becaouse of this, an even more egregious eminent domain case will almost certainly wind up before the Supreme Court in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, opponents of this ruling should appeal to their state governments to set stricter legal limits on what localities can seize and how just compensation should work.

Thanks to Dean’s World for the tip on Althouse’s article.


At 12:59 PM, Anonymous John Ryskamp said...

The Kelo homeowners can petition the Court for a rehearing "on the merits" (Rule 44). The Court will grant rehearings to consider "historical evidence" bearing on the Framers' intent. Reid v. Covert, 352 U.S. 901(1956). The Kelo case is based on the Fifth Amendment. When James Madison presented it to Congress, he said that it "prevents every assumption of power in the legislative or executive." When he said "every," he meant a fact of the individual. A fact of the individual is a fact of human experience which does not change even when government seeks to destroy it. A fact of the individual is one in which government

1. seeks to eliminate the fact;
2. at best only succeeds or would, if allowed, only succeed, in eliminating incarnations of it;
3. in the process violates other rights;
4. brings to bear a disproportionate effort; and
5. does not consider alternatives which could achieve the goal.

Housing is such a fact:

1. New London seeks to destroy this housing;
2. New London itself has granted that these
homeowners will have to, and will, seek other ousing;
3. Association, speech and several other protected facts are sought to be destroyed by this eminent domain action;
4. the Kelo eminent domain action is part of a
nationwide, well thought-out plan between developers and politicians to use eminent domain to turn housing over to private developers;
5. the Kelo eminent domain action is not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government purpose.

If the Kelo homeowners present this argument to the Court, they will save their housing.

At 12:17 AM, Blogger KMSweet said...

I live in New London county, less than 4 miles up river in Ledyard. So when I hear or read arguements about the "positives" of the Kelo decision, I just have to shake my head. The bottom line is that the people lost out in this case, plain and simple. Some people (ironically, none from around here) argue that the people of New London will benefit because the tax base will expland. The thing is, we've heard that line many times before. For one of the defendents in this case, his father lost his property so the city could build a jetty. The kicker is that the city never built the jetty, even though the man lost his property.

This case sets a dangerous precedent, and I would strongly denounce any "justification" of this ruling. The owners got screwed. The majority of New London's citizes won't see any benefit from this at all. Remember, these facilities are meant to most accomodate Pfizer, not the people. I can only hope that the people losing their property will be able to get their life back together.


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