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Some Freedom Issues

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The Supreme Court of the United States, in another attempt to totally bewilder court watchers, and civil libertarians has said it isok for governments to seize private property for other private needs.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses — even against their will — for private economic development.

It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights.

The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

That is a large leap from the intent of the constitutional framers who said this in the constitution with emphasis on the important parts.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

It used to be that they’d only take your property if they were putting in a road or something. That was bad enough. Now if Donald Trump wants to put a casino on your property, and you don’t want to sell, the government can seize your land, and then sell it to Trump. Their basis for the ruling is that the increased public good comes from increased tax revenue to the government. That is not public good, that is for the good of government.

The US Constitution was framed not granting rights to us, but limiting the rights that can be taken away. In effect, the Constitution is a document that limits governments.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority. He was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

Mark Levin was right, The Supreme court is destroying America.

Sandra Day O’Connor, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas voted against it.

Don, over at Anger Management, has a great breakdown on the decision, including some good points against ANY sort of government seizure of property. Give him a read for an Objectivist take on the issue.

Another thing that is of interest, and has constitutional implications is Congress attempting to pass an amendment to the Consitution to ban flag burning.

So, I guess congress has to do something to warrent their esteemed position. Just doing nothing and NOT spending too much of our money is out of the question. What are they up to? Tinkering with the Constitution.

Led by Senator Orrin Hatch, the House of Representatives is pushing a proposal to make it unconstitutional to burn Old Glory.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a constitutional amendment banning flag desecration, advancing the proposal pushed by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who puts the likelihood of Senate approval at “excellent.”
“This year shows we have the best chance we’ve ever had,” Hatch said Wednesday.
While the House has passed the measure five times since 1995 in the run-up to the Fourth of July, the resolution has never received Senate approval. Hatch, who has 53 co-sponsors for his Senate version, will urge a vote later this summer. If passed by two-thirds of the Senate, 38 states must then ratify the amendment.
“The flag is our national symbol,” Hatch said in an interview. “We have young men dying and young women dying over in Iraq and Afghanistan as we speak. We’re fighting for the principles that flag represents.
“Secondly, I do not believe that urinating on the flag, defecating on the flag, burning it with contempt constitute free speech. Those are acts of physical desecration.”
Utah Republican Reps. Chris Cannon and Rob Bishop, who both supported the House proposal that passed 286-130, echoed those comments.
The American flag “is our ultimate icon, and when it is attacked, we are all attacked,” Cannon said.

What a bad idea. The purpose of the First Amendment is to allow political discorse and free expression of ideas. Even though I really don’t appreciate seeing it burned, as prople who want the flag protected admit the flag is a symbol, and symbols can be powerful, and even more powerful when used in a forum that allows protestors to show their disdain for what they believe that symbol represents.

If this constitutional amendment passes, it may be the first unconstitutional constitutional amendment. In Texas V. Johnson, Antonin Scalia said that flag burning is protected speech. At its core, that is what the First Amendment is all about!!

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About Tom Bux

  • Maurice

    Good points on both issues.