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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

After They Take Your Home, They Give It To Their Friends

SCOTUS is now hearing with a case regarding preferential treatment of businesses by governments after they have removed property from citizens via eminent domain. It is step two of the remove and deal powers as allowed in the Kelo case heard last year. In DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 04-1704, and Wilkins v. Cuno, 04-1724. citizens are challenging Ohio's tax breaks given Daimler Chrysler for moving into their state.

While some justices have changed since that decision, I do not see it likely that the Court will strike down Ohio's actions as this is a political decision. As Scalia rightly stated: "Let the people fight it out. Why should that be an issue that the court should decide?"

I agree. The egregious conduct is in the, in my view, unconstitutional taking of the property for the resale to another private party. Unfortunately, the Court in Kelo found even the taking, without any proof of blight nor the intent of using the property for a public purpose, was a political issue. While everything can be deemed political, the Court ignored the words of the "takings clause" and the Framers' intent.

While this economic war among the states by luring a company with tax breaks appears unfair, the earmarking of tax credits in favor of one business at the expense of revenue is for the citizens of the state to decide. I do not see this as curtailing the movement of goods in commerce that is the intent of the Commerce Clause. Though SCOTUS also erred on the commerce clause at issue recently in the medical marijuana case (the Raich decision).

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