Thursday, October 06, 2005

Eminent Domain Unleashed

According to the Washington Times, Florida's Riviera Beach is a poor, predominantly black, coastal community that intends to revitalize its economy by using eminent domain, if necessary, to displace about 6,000 local residents and build a billion-dollar waterfront yachting and housing complex.

From an interview with Laura Ingraham today, Mayor Michael Brown repeatedly insisted that taking the private homes of his city's citizens and handing them over to developers was good for the city, and would bring economic prosperity to the area. He said it would create jobs and raise the aggregate income of the people of Riviera beach.

I suppose it would. But at what price?

And what kind of jobs? Menial labor? Towel boys? Waiters and waitresses? Housekeepers? Has anyone ever done that kind of work? They are good honest jobs but you can't make a living doing them only. Many times you can make more income on welfare than on those minimum wage jobs.

He also said that the new development would provide better housing for the residents. But the most affordable of the future new housing would be approximately $250,000.00. Does he really think the poor, black, and downtrodden can afford them?

6,000 residents.

So the Mayor can collect higher taxes.

Maybe he can find even more poor people to displace with the additional revenue.

For more improvements.

This is an outrage. Even Liberals are objecting to this, but the liberal activist Justices are the ones that changed the constitutional law in the first place. They are the ones that have allowed this.

And if something isn't done, there will be much more of this kind of thing. Will they wait until the new definition of Eminent Domain forces them out of their own homes before they act on this?

Hopefully, some enterprising lawyer will find a loophole and get this issue back in front of the Supreme Court after, of course, the Court has a majority of conservative Justices. But before those 6,000 people lose their homes.

This could be the first case on which Justice Miers will have the opportunity to rule. It will be interesting to see if she is indeed the Justice President Bush believes her to be.

I did an extensive search on the internet today trying to get some information on Mayor Brown, but I was unable to find out his party affiliation. So I don't know if he's a Democrat or a Republican. But I have pretty good idea.

What would you bet it is the party that claims to be the champion of the poor, black, and downtrodden?


Erudite Redneck said...

The eminent domain ruling was terrible. To place it at the feet of "liberals" is way oversimplifying it. And, well, wrong.

I read every word of the case, and followed the reasoning, which rested on case after case after case, as most SCOTUS decisions do.

It's an example of stare decisis wobbling out of control. Get your goldarn developer-loving-big-business-loving-little-people-dissing Republican Congress to fix it. The damn decision was PRO BUSINESS. How the hell is that "liberal"?

JeZUS, you make me pwumb cwazy sometimes. If it's bad and in the government and you disagree with it -- it must be EVIL LIBERALS! Horse. Crap. Ola.


Mark said...

The majority of Justices that decided that case were the luberal ones. Ginzburg and Breyer and Kennedy, etc...the dissenting opinions were from conservative justices Thomas, Scalia, Rehnquist..Souter betrayed Bush 41 by becoming a liberal justice after he was confirmed. It's right there in the record.

Garza said...

I really wonder if this keeps up, how long it will be before there is a standoff with cops because someone says I am not leaving my home? Our rights are diminishing by the day, and it is not Liberal or Conservative, it is the Socialist/Communist pigs that are driving it.

RebelAngel said...

I get ill just thinking about this decision. How is a yacht club better use for the city than 6,000 homes? Where are all those people supposed to go? You know what else makes cities die? Driving people away with stupid decisions.

rich bachelor said...

Eminent Domain is the legal equivalent of Finders Keepers, and I've always been against it.
Since you make Miers part of the discussion, I'd be very surprised indeed if she's even half the unknown quantity she's being made out to be. The lesson of Souter has not been lost on the current Management at the Federal level, I bet, and probably she is being spoken of in this way so as to not invite controversy.
It's pure politics, in short. She could be anything, but the administration acts like even they have no idea, which has gotta be a lie.
I keep on stumbling on the line about how a decent Justice doesn't "legislate from the bench". If so, Clarence Thomas must go, since he has the highest percentage of votes to overturn laws passed by Congress, which is a pretty good definition of the above phrase. The second Justice most likely to do so is Scalia.
At the bottom of the list is Ginsburg and Breyer.

Mark said...

If a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional it should be overturned. That is what the court is for, to decide if the laws Congress passes are constitutional and thus keep Congress from turning Anerica into something other than a republic.

That is quite different from changing the constitution arbitrarily as the SCOTUS did with the Kelo decision.

Erudite Redneck said...

There was nothing "arbitrary" about Kelo.

For all the caterwauling about how the court’s ruling goes against common sense and everyone’s general sense of fairness, the decision was not a great leap from the established concept of eminent domain.

The majority decision is a logical extension of that power. If anything, the Kelo decision is an example of stare decisis — the judicial principle of “let the decision stand,” that is, courts’ tendency to defer to their own previous rulings — run into the ditch.

Kelo was a tiny change, not a fantastic leap at all, but it came after other little changes over the years.

The dissenting decisions, too, are compelling and logical.

“Something has gone seriously awry with this Court’s interpretation of the Constitution,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his dissent. “Though citizens are safe from the government in their homes, the homes themselves are not.”

In a nutshell, that’s because the majority started its reasoning with the idea of “public use” rooted in the Fifth Amendment, not with the concept of property rights rooted in the Fourth Amendment.

The pertinent part of the Fifth Amendment: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The pertinent part of the Fourth Amendment, which usually comes into play when police want to search a home for criminal evidence: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ...”

Thomas and the other dissenters had a point but were overruled.

Several states, including Oklahoma, have risen to their sovereign duty to answer this out-of bounds ruling with the kind of constitutional “Check” or “Balance” that it calls for.


jgaoehals14962 said...

I have to disagree with you on this one. You have done nothing but shift the blame of bad liberal judges to the feet of congress... When has congress ever been able to come back with law to the point of overturning SCOTUS? It may have happened, but not very often. Mark also pointed out that it was the liberal faction of SCOTUS that made the ruling. So again, this falls at the feet of liberals, not the business-loving, little-people hating Republicans.

BTW, that charge is getting old.
God bless

Toad734 said...

What do you mean even liberals? Of course liberals would oppose this; they are the ones who always oppose stuff like this. They would also oppose it if it were a wildlife sanctuary being bulldozed for oil wells. The Republican dominated Supreme Court made this kind of shit possible, not the 3 Democrats who sit on that bench. It took Republican votes for this kind of law to pass.

So why not just bulldoze all poor black people in a ditch and move the yuppies into their houses. That sounds American to me.

Of course; if this was a blighted commercial strip, and there were abandoned houses that no one lived in that would be a different situation.

Jaymeister said...

The point being made here is that it was the liberal faction of the Supreme Court(along with the two moderate swing justices) who made the Kelo ruling. That is on the record. However, the ruling is clearly opposed to the principles that liberals embrace. In other words, the decision might have been made by "liberals" but the it was not a liberal ruling per se.

I'm liberal, and I think it sucks. Certainly the businesses who stand to benefit from the ruling aren't liberal. Therefore, perhaps it is the wording of the law and the pertinent constitutional clauses that have loopholes, and the justices held to the text of the law rather than making an emotional appeal to what seems right. Isn't that what the "strict constitutionalists" expect them to do? I don't suspect that the five justices in the majority particularly liked the practical outcome either.

Mark said...

Jay, that I agree with. I posted on this at the time and that is what I said. It was completely opposite of the typical liberal position.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "It was completely opposite of the typical liberal position."

Ergo, labeling SCOTUS decisions as "liberal" or "conservative" is silly, no? I mean, at least as far as casting blame.

Garsh, runnin' a country is diifi -- difu -- diffica -- HARD, don't you think? Shiishe!

Oh, and Pastorry Timothry: Whether Congress has the cajones to rise to its constitutional duty to play the coequal-branches-of-government game has nothing to do with its constitutional obligation to do so.


Mark said...

If the SCOTUS ruled impartially as they are supposed to do, it would be silly, but the big fuss about the Supreme Court of late has to do with judicial activism in which some justices are ruling according to their own ideology and not according to the constitution, which is why the Republicans are so pleased that Bush gets to appoint 2 of them.

Any way that's how I see it.

Erudite Redneck said...

Well, the way I see it is this:

The whole idea of "original intent" is bogus, since nobody today can read the founders' minds then.

We're going to get activism either way. You prefer right-wing activism, and I prefer liberal activism.

But hey, that's OK, too. Just puhleeze dont keep thinking that you want something "higher" or more "constitutional" than I do!

'Cause ya don't. You want it yer way, and I want things my way.

Twas always thus. Twill always be.


Toad734 said...

So now Democrats are the only activist judges?

What about that asshole in Alabama that had the 10 commandments installed on the property at 2am in the morning; that is activism.