Despite the self interested arguments of law professors like Peter J. Smith of Washington University Law School, public outrage over the Kelo v. New London decision is entirely justifiable and not at all “the product of a serious misunderstanding of the court’s decision.” As every competent lawyer knows, eminent domain only provides just compensation for property holders who have the means to hire the best of lawyers. The Stevens decision will thus provide a new boon for the most pernicious of trial lawyers.
According to departing Justice O’Conner’s dissent :
“Over two centuries ago, just after the Bill of Rights was ratified, Justice Chase wrote:
“An act of the Legislature (for I cannot call it a law) contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority … . [A] law that takes property from A. and gives it to B: It is against all reason and justice, for a people to entrust a Legislature with such powers; and, therefore, it cannot be presumed that they have done it.” Calder v. Bull ….
“Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded–i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public–in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings “for public use” is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property–and thereby effectively to delete the words “for public use” from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly I respectfully dissent.”
With these terrifying words O’Conner, makes clear what actually occurred in the case of Susette Kelo v. New London, Connecticut: Americans of ordinary income lost the right to private property held throughout the history of our nation until June 23, 2005.
An act of our unintended “legislature” crushed the interests of the vast majority of American citizens. Justices Stevens, Souter, Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Breyer presumed Americans no longer want their private property rights to be protected as they were prior to June 23, 2005. As a consequence, this will truly be an infamous date in American history. On July 24, 2005, those vicious enough, and with means enough to afford the best legal teams, could begin to take property from those of us without such means.
Private property now can only be held somewhat safely by those few with wealth enough to hire the best legal guns.
So, I disagree with Professor Smith, the building campaign to seize Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter’s New Hampshire farmhouse to build a luxury hotel, is fully justifiable. His legal decision was a direct attack on the common American citizen in favor of the legal professionals who stand to profit from that decision. I look forward to having a snack at the “Just Desserts Café” the moment it opens. Oh, by the way Justice Souter, please do enjoy the paltry comforter upon the bed you made for yourself — and for us — at the “Lost Liberty Hotel.”