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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, June 24, 2005

How Kelo Can They Go?

(How's this pic for sensationalist fear-mongering?
I should work for Big Media...)

Okay...I lied. Again. I'm a liar. I lie.

I am blogging about Kelo, that stygian, squamous abomination handed down to us ab alto by our Star-Chamber masters on the Imperial Court. Kiss your property (including your own pretty arse) goodbye--the government now owns it. All of it. And everything else besides. "Justices" Stevens, Ginsburg, Caligula, Commodus, and Diocletian said so. (I may not have gotten all of their names right...)

And you thought the bank owned your home. Fool!

In fact, I'm still digesting the 58-page decision, which is here, so I'll let Prof. Glenn Reynolds (who reads a lot faster than I do) write for me:

OUR STATIST SUPREME COURT STRIKES AGAIN: They've had quite a run lately.

UPDATE: In my stack of reprints-by-mail at the office is one from Lino Graglia with this already-obsolete title: "Lawrence v. Texas: Our Philosopher-Kings Adopt Libertarianism as Our Official National Philosophy and Reject Traditional Morality as a Basis for Law."

Not so much. They may be rejecting traditional morality -- if "a man's home is his castle" counts as traditional morality -- but they certainly aren't close to adopting libertarianism as our "official national philosophy." Quite the contrary.

Professor Bainbridge: "So much for private property rights."

Blake Wylie is rounding up some other reactions.

David Bernstein:

[C]onsider the lineup in Raich and Kelo. Then consider the legal gymnastics it takes to consider local medical pot part of "interstate commerce," and to consider taking people's home and giving them to Pfizer a "public use" in the face of two hundred years of precedent that A to B transfers are illegitimate.

I'm unimpressed with this term of the Court.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's an even bigger roundup of reactions. Lots of people are unhappy.

And be sure to check his link-rich further update here to see reactions against this decision from the Left and the Right (and Ry Cooder (???)).

Now...I just know Chefjef is going to think I'm overreacting and that the decision is JUST FINE...greatest piece of jurisprudence EVER....Rigorous legal logic that would make the Vulcan Supreme Court sit up and take note...yada...

Well, professor, they won't likely be confiscating the homes of rich people in rich neighborhoods. Nor will they take Section 8 housing (since this is largely a liberal-backed initiative). Once again, lower-middle (that is, working) class folks will take it in their now rather frayed shorts. And they're traditionally Democratic voters...



Way to go!
Chefjef also strongly objects:

Aw, c'mon? How crazy could you think I am? The Court's decision was absolutely outageous. If private property may be condemned and given to another private organization for private profit, and if the determination of which properties are to be condemned may be delegated to a private group unaccountable to the electorate, then there are no limits on the exercise of government power. The transition from Locke to Hobbes is complete. To qoute Darth Vader, "Your death [Constitution] is inconsequential."

The Supreme's also produced another gem of a decision on the same day. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that (Thomas writing for the majority) the federal government retains its sovereign immunity and thus cannot be sued by farmers claiming that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reduced deliveries of water to a water supply district in order to protect endangered species of fish. (Orff v. U.S., 03-1566).

I dissent, I dissent, I disrespectfully and violently dissent.


What he said! The second ruling seems squamous (scaly) in more ways than one...

Do we see a trend here? The Darth Vader comparison is apt for a number of reasons. So's this line from Hunt for Red October: "This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and [the Constitution] will be lucky to live through it." "Liberal" or "conservative," the majority of the SCOTUS has taken an activist role that was never envisioned by the framers and that--by virtue of its structure--is immune to correction and unaccountable to the rest of the government and the electorate. Any source of unchecked power is a potential threat to the rule of law. We must find a way to end this abuse of power.


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