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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Kelo!!!

The height of judicial activism is "celebrated" today by Linda Chavez in "A year after Kelo". Kelo is, of course, the SCOTUS decision that allows municipalities to use eminent domain to take private property from one citizens for use of another citizen. What was abrogated was the need to prove the property was in a blighted condition and that the use of the property was for a public need such as a street, railroad or courthouse. The SCOTUS decision by its liberal wing now allows the mere increase in the municipal tax base to suffice as a public purpose in the taking (and we will not get into the issue of the money paid to the owners in this non-free markket sale).

My minor complaint from her column regards this quote:

The Court's decision in Kelo sparked considerable controversy and may be the one recent public policy debate that united many conservatives and liberals. Conservatives generally don't like government interfering in private transactions anyway, and the thought that a city or county could decide to condemn otherwise sound property in order to increase tax revenue by replacing it with a more valuable property strikes many conservatives as a good example of the rapacious appetite of Big Government. Liberals, on the other hand, see this as government choosing the wealthy over the poor and middle class, Big Business triumphing over the Common Man, whites displacing blacks and other minorities.

It is not "Big Business over the Common Man". It is Preferred Interests using government to trump the rights of others. That is what the Founders sought to protect us from by limiting government's thrust in our pursuit of liberty, justice and property rights. The parties with access to the powerful government as it has been allowed to grow are responsible for the laws we take fro granted and which erode our rights in this inching towards what Herman Cain calls "gutless socialism".

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