ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Supreme Court allows stealing...

as long as its for "increased tax revenues...."

From the Washington Post - (H/T Drudge):

In a 5-4 decision, the court upheld the ability of New London, Conn., to seize people's homes to make way for an office, residential and retail complex supporting a new $300 million research facility of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. The city had argued that the project served a public use within the meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution because it would increase tax revenues, create jobs and improve the local economy.

By that logic, we might as well turn over the entire country. Where is it written in the constitution that increased tax revenues is an aim for the government? Or even a public good?

It was a 5-4 decision. I wonder who voted for this massive power grab?
Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens....

Oh. Well I'm not surprised by that name. Who else?
He was joined in that view by justices Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

Figures...
Dissenting were justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as well as Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.

In a strongly worded dissenting opinion, O'Connor wrote that the majority's decision overturns a long-held principle that eminent domain cannot be used simply to transfer property from one private owner to another.

"Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power," she wrote. "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 -- i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public -- in the process."


And howdy! A 200 unit condo brings in more tax revenue than 10 single family homes. A parking lot can bring in more revenue than a house. It can go on forever. Now your ability to stay in a location is not dictated by the laws of
economics, but rather by the whims of a local politician.

Update:
Commentary over at The Volokh Conspiracy here. My favorite comment so far:

In other news, splitting 6-3, the Supreme Court ruled on Petember 11th that harvesting organs was a legitimate state interest, and that strict scrutiny governed overruling anything any government agency wanted, any time. Now, a word from our sponsors: Kraft; the choice of a new Congress!
Update II:
Oops! Looks like my co-conspirator beat me to it. Thats what I get for not reading before posting.

*** Update St Wendeler ***
The Therapist weighs in... hilarious!
DC Mayor To Bulldoze Ruth Bader Ginsberg's House For Homeless Shelter
ABC 'Home Makeover' team commissioned to evict Justice

Washington-In an immediate municipal action based upon the just-released ruling by the United States Supreme Court, Dc Mayor Anthony Williams has announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg "needs to start packing" as the city's plans for a suburban homeless shelter have finally been vetted.
[...]

Read it all!!
*** End Update ***

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian