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Supreme Court Rules Private Property Can be Seized 1829

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the supreme-court-totally-rules dept.
slew writes "CNN is reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case where a local community seized private houses for commercial development (not public works) under the guise of eminent domain. Needless to say, the little guy loses to the commercial developer this case... "
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Supreme Court Rules Private Property Can be Seized

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  • by DataPath (1111) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:09PM (#12893926)
    it was a 5-4 decision, which the conclusion being that the supreme court doesn't feel it's their job the decide what falls within the "public good" clause of eminent domain.

    They stated that this doesn't nothing to prevent states from legislating limits on eminent domain seizures by municipal government
  • Re:All hail the rich (Score:4, Informative)

    by FatRatBastard (7583) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:13PM (#12893983) Homepage
    And interestingly enough it was done by the more liberal (er, "progressive") members of the bench. The three hard conservatives were soundly against it.
  • by Unloaded (716598) * on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:13PM (#12893992)
    ...

    For the majority: Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer

    In dissent: O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:14PM (#12894006)
    Let's get this out of the way right off the bat:

    For the record, O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas were in the dissent. The minority. The losers. The folks saying "no, the government doesn't have the right to take private land from some citizens on behalf of other private citizens as long as there are a few extra tax dollars to be picked up in the process".

    If you want to argue party politics ("It's all Bush's fault, favoring Special Interests"), there are plenty of threads where you can do so and still be on-topic.

    Unless you're so blinded by partisan politics that you consider O'Connor, Scalia, Rehnquist, and Thomas to be liberals (well, at least for today), this isn't one of those threads.

    This isn't about Republicans vs. Democrats. It's about libertarians vs. statists.

  • Re:bush judges (Score:3, Informative)

    by acvh (120205) <geek@OPENBSDmscigars.com minus bsd> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:14PM (#12894008) Homepage
    The four judges who voted AGAINST the local government's land grab were Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas and O'Commor. It's the liberals who want to give away private property - the conservatives want to give away PUBLIC property.
  • Re:bush judges (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:15PM (#12894033)
    guess we need bush judges more than ever now

    Guess what idiots don't understand? They don't understand that the liberals on the supreme court voted for this. The conservatives were against it.
  • Re:bush judges (Score:5, Informative)

    by DavidHumus (725117) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:17PM (#12894052)
    For more of the same?

    Remember how Bush made his money in baseball: building a larger stadium on land siezed under eminent domain? http://espn.go.com/mlb/bush/saturday.html [go.com]

  • by Daniel Boisvert (143499) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:19PM (#12894085)
    Their deferral to the legislature for such a pointedly Constitutional issue is worrying. Everything I have to say about this was already said better in Justice O'Connor's and Justice Thomas's dissenting opinions though, so I'll just point folks there [findlaw.com].
  • Re:bush judges (Score:5, Informative)

    by Surt (22457) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:19PM (#12894108) Homepage Journal
    Let's see:

    In favor:
    John Paul Stevens - Ford/republican
    Anthony Kennedy - Reagan/republican
    David H. Souter - Bush/republican
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Clinton/democrat
    Stephen G. Breyer - Clinton/democrat

    Against:
    Sandra Day O'Connor - Reagan/republican
    William H. Rehnquist - Nixon-Reagan/ republican
    Antonin Scalia - Reagan/republican
    Clarence Thomas - Bush/republican

    I'd say toss up on whether more bush/republican judges would help here. Both democrats were in favor, but so were three republicans.
  • Re:Bogus! (Score:3, Informative)

    by m.h.2 (617891) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:26PM (#12894208) Journal
    "Does this frighten anybody but me?"

    Nope! I'm frightened by it too.

    But let's not look at this as a strictly U.S. problem. In reality, the only thing that the Federal Government did wrong was taking no action (essentially, deciding not to decide.)

    FWIW, the CT case is not unprecedented:

    Six state supreme courts have ruled that private economic development projects are a considered public use: Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and (obviously) Connecticut. Eight states have ruled that private economic development is not considered public use: Arkansas,Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, South Carolina, and Washington. I would like to see my state added to that list, so off I go to write to my State Representative.
  • No, it's worse. (Score:5, Informative)

    by lheal (86013) <lheal1999@yahoo . c om> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:28PM (#12894251) Journal
    From TFA:
    Local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community, justices said.

    In this instance, the judges say that local officials know best. (Never mind what the owners of the land think.)

    The part that makes this really bad is that the Court isn't looking at the law and the Constitution, but at the circumstances. They're supposed to be judging the law, not making new laws as they did here.

    A similar thing happened in the medical marijuana case. The judges said that they thought the "medical" thing was a sham, that this was all about people wanting a way around Federal drug laws. They had no legal basis for that finding, it was just what they thought about the issue. So they allowed the extension of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution to include the doctor-patient relationship.

    These decisions are symptomatic of an out of control Court.

  • by Wabin (600045) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:28PM (#12894259)
    Your government can now take your property for the "public good"
    Nothing new there. The government has always been allowed to do this. It is right there in the Bill of Rights: Amendment Five.
    [N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation"
    The question has always been what constitutes "public use." It is not always a simple calculus of whether private companies benefit first. For example, railroads would not have been built without this power of eminent domain, and those all clearly benefited private entities on their way to the public good. Land for roads, airports, and such are also routinely "taken."

    That said, I think that this idea that urban renewal (extending beyond a blighted area, which has been allowed for a while, for cleaning up slums and such) is a valid reason for taking, seems problematic to me. MBITLITF (My brother is the lawyer in the family), but it seems clear that this is a continuation of a trend to expand this power beyond what I would consider reasonable. Building a hotel and whatever else in the hopes that people will come to visit and thereby provide jobs seems just plain dumb, but the courts basically said that they can't make a ruling based on that; if the government thinks it is a good idea, that is good enough, and to overrule them would be a kind of judicial activism. (See, everyone hates judicial activism when it is convenient!)

  • by DanEsparza (208103) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:37PM (#12894390) Homepage
    Ummm ... hmmm.. Conservatives? Wow. Sounds like you have a beef against people like me. Guess what: I'm a conservative. And you know what you might find rather surprising? It was the conservative judges that were dissenting:

    From http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050623/D8ATDSD80 .html [myway.com]

    O'Connor was joined by
    Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (conservative)
    Antonin Scalia (conservative)
    Clarence Thomas (conservative)

    O'Connor's dissent was surprisingly terse and (*gasp*) conservative!

    From http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/23/politics/23wire- scotus.html?incamp=article_popular_4 [nytimes.com]

    In a bitter dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the majority had created an ominous precedent. "The specter of condemnation hangs over all property," she wrote. "Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."

    "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private property, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," she wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.

    "As for the victims," Justice O'Connor went on, "the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result."

    It pisses me off when people jump to conclusions without hearing all the facts. Next time, please do your homework first. -D

  • by Zangief (461457) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:41PM (#12894450) Homepage Journal
    Are you sure they have to be paid market value?

    In my country (Chile), when the government seizes property, it pays the declared value, the value at which the property is taxed. Since this is normally lower than the real market value, people are even more screwed.

    But then, it is not for the sake of private companies...
  • by Rahga (13479) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:47PM (#12894530) Homepage Journal
    Technically, that wasn't Rush Limbaugh, but guest host Roget Hedgecock [wikipedia.org].

    I'm amazed at how well people like Roger, G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and Mark Fuhrman do after getting a ton of press under bad circumstances.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:49PM (#12894574)
    It was some of the conservative judges that dissented. Only two Democrat-appointed judges remain.
  • Re:bush judges (Score:3, Informative)

    by modecx (130548) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:50PM (#12894578)
    In most instances, however, many property owners are offered quite a bit below market value for a particular piece of land... And the bad thing you can't sell it. The very instant someone wants your property for eminent domain purposes your property value is nonexistant because there's no potential for profit--or any profit more than the county wants to give you, anyhow.

    It's the preverbial 800lb Gorilla. Take a bushel of bananas to appease him or be crushed.
  • New London, CT (Score:3, Informative)

    by harryk (17509) <harryk20022002@yahoCOUGARo.com minus cat> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:56PM (#12894650) Homepage
    The place where this is happening. The best that I can offer is my outrage at this, as I cannot even fathom this comming into play ...

    The following is a list of email addresses that you may find useful:

    City Manager - Richard Brown rbrown@ci.new-london.ct.us

    City Council:
    Mayor
    Jane L. Glover 860-442-6296
    kente219@aol.com

    Deputy Mayor
    William S. Morse 860-442-0233
    billmorse1956@hotmail.com

    Councilor
    Jason Catala 860-447-3848
    Jason_CatalaBOE@yahoo.com

    Councilor
    Margaret Mary Curtin 860-443-0373
    pegcurtin@snet.net

    Councilor
    Gerard J. Gaynor 860-443-6346
    Gjgdeacon@aol.com

    Councilor
    Robert Pero 860-447-2723
    pero6_98@yahoo.com

    Councilor
    Elizabeth Sabilia 860-437-8031
    Sabilia@sdwllc.com

    I would suggest everyone writing any of the above, and let them know how displeased you are with thier actions.
  • by Quirk (36086) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @06:06PM (#12894785) Homepage Journal
    Schooled in economics I took a position as a litigation appraiser because it was a good job offer and I enjoyed working with market values. Foremost it's necessary to understand the adversarial system. Both parties to litigation will hire their own appraiser, usually the best they can afford, and, the job of that appraiser will be to fix a value that favours their client. The end result, all too often, is that the board will award a value somewhere between the values arrived at by the opposing litigants. It's really a sorry business and I got out of it quickly.

    Gregory Bateson, the American biologist said... "adversarial systems are notoriously subject to irrelevant determinism. The relative strength of the adverseries is likely to rule the decision regardless of the relative strength of their arguments."

  • by scronline (829910) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @06:21PM (#12894996) Homepage
    It says shall not be taken for PUBLIC use. They took it for PRIVATE use. And of course from the article, do you SEE anything about the compensation? How do we know they weren't paid fair market value for their homes? Sure it's a pain in the ass, but the key points here are: 1) It was taken for PRIVATE use and the constitution doesn't give any statements concerning that. 2) The constitution says without just compensation. If they were paid them fair market value for their homes under any circumstance, that's just tough I've seen many homes gobbled up for road construction, road widening, whatever kind of public works for decades. That's just the way it goes.
  • Re:bush judges (Score:5, Informative)

    by fmaxwell (249001) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @06:49PM (#12895286) Homepage Journal
    But Kennedy was only nominated because Bork was Borked, so Reagan had to pick someone more moderate. Same basic thing with Souter (not a specific Borking, but the fear of it).

    I find your use of the term "Borked" to be offensive. Do you have any idea of who Bork even was? Time for a history lesson:

    In 1973, Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox was demanding tapes and Presidential documents related to the Watergate break-in. Rather than turn over the evidence, President Nixon directed Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson resigned his position rather than fire the Special Prosecutor. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus refused and Nixon fired Ruckelshaus.

    Finally, Nixon turned to then Solicitor General Robert Bork, who by law became the acting Attorney General when the Attorney General and deputy attorney general were absent. Bork carried out Nixon's order to fire Cox. After Bork fired Cox, Nixon abolished the office of the Special Prosecutor and had FBI agents quickly seal off the offices of Richardson and Ruckelshaus in the Justice Department and at Cox's headquarters in an office building in Washington, D.C.

    So stop painting Bork as a victim of dirty tricks by mean liberals. He was an evil bastard who acted in concert with Nixon to thwart a legal investigation into Watergate. He lacked the ethics, judgment, and integrity to serve as dog catcher, much less as a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Just a thought. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2005 @07:30PM (#12895682)
    Suicide rate for divorced men is over 30%, divorce rate is over 50%

    This is not at all right. Google says the actual rate is 43.7 suicides per 100,000 divorced men, which is 0.0437%, far below 1%.

    I don't point this out to minimize your problems, just to show you that over 99.9% of divorced men get through it, and you will too, even if it seems overwhelming right now. Hang in there.
  • by jdbo (35629) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @07:37PM (#12895751)
    OK, I just read the whole dang thing.

    I have no problem saying that, for this case, the dissenting position should have been the majority position, for reasons beyond the fact that I agree with the immediate outcome.

    I further have no problem in stating that the 3 of the 4 dissenters are the most consistently conservative members of the SCOTUS, while those in the majority vary from conservative to moderately liberal. (There are no currently no consistently liberal voices on the bench)

    However, this does not mean that the majority opinion is "liberal", or even that the dissenting position is necessarily "conservative"; there's somewhat more complex issues at play here.

    Let's consider another rubric, in which we consider the "political inclination" of the reasoning behind the differing opinion, ordered by the weight given in their argumentation:

    Supporting the Majority:
    1. State's Rights / Federal Gov't Defer to State-Level Authority: (the determination of the Conn. Supreme Courts were deferred to); this is "classically conservative" position
    2. Strict Consideration of Law and Precedent: this is rather specific to how the SC conducts its business, but I think it's also fair to say that they used "conservative" reasoning in their approach (i.e. they saw no need to disrupt tradition or precedent, and so sought to follow it)
    3. Favoring the General Public Good over the Individual Public Good: (the specifics of the case were examined and held that the development planning process was handled above board) - favoring the public good is generally considered to be a liberal position, but in the majority opinion there was little emphasis on the "public good" beyond the state's right to determine what this means.

    Supporting the Minority:
    1. Gov't may Not Interfere with Private Property - this is a classically conservative position
    2. Federal Gov't May Override State-level (local) Issues - during the Civil War this defined the "Republican" position - however, since the Civil Rights movement of the 50's and 60's this has been re-framed as the liberal position
    3. Proposed Amendment/Clarification of Existing Legislation - ("Legislating from the bench") - recent propaganda to the contrary, "activist judges" are liberal, conservative, moderate, or whatever. However, this sort of activity may be seen as procedurally Liberal (i.e. it makes waves) just as stricter interpretations make be seen as procedurally Conservative.

    My conclusion is that while it is probably fair to label the dissenting opinion as an argument rising from conservative thinking, I could just as easily label the majority opinion as such.

    Ultimately, I think we have a conflict between Moderate/Conservative process (i.e. the Court not seeking to make waves) and Conservative values (i.e. the underlying goals and ideals of Conservatism).

    Either way this ruling sucks, but it annoys me greatly when
    people look at an issue like this and immediately start to draw party line borders. Nuance can be important.
  • Re:Just a thought. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2005 @07:52PM (#12895875)
    30% did sound high, but the way I feel lately...

    Did look at the National institutes of Mental Health.
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/suicideprevention/suifact. cfm [nih.gov]

    8th leading cause of death by males is suicide.

    Crazy...
  • In this case... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2005 @08:50PM (#12896296)
    In this case, the difference seems to be whether or not the city can take your house and make it into a parking lot. From a dissenting opinnion:


    Petitioners own properties in two of the plan's seven parcels--Parcel 3 and Parcel 4A. Under the plan, Parcel 3 is slated for the construction of research and office space as a market develops for such space. It will also retain the existing Italian Dramatic Club (a private cultural organization) though the homes of three plaintiffs in that parcel are to be demolished. Parcel 4A is slated, mysteriously, for " 'park support.' " Id., at 345-346. At oral argument, counsel for respondents conceded the vagueness of this proposed use, and offered that the parcel might eventually be used for parking. Tr. of Oral Arg. 36.
  • by j1m+5n0w (749199) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @09:22PM (#12896516) Homepage Journal
    I used to think conservatives were the ones who stood for fiscal responsibility and small government with limited powers.
  • Re:bush judges (Score:2, Informative)

    by Curtman (556920) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @10:04PM (#12896781)
    "I was a conservative. Then they changed what `conservative' was. Now what I am isn't conservative, and what is `conservative' seems weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you!"

    It happened to the liberals too.

    liberal (liberal):
    • Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

    Sounds pretty good to me. There's no safe ideologies anymore.
  • by Ironsides (739422) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @10:33PM (#12896961) Homepage Journal
    They may want to consider figuring out that pesky 2nd Amendment thing first. Or invest in a lot of Kevlar. Not that I'm advocating violence. But I do know a few "hicks" who take owning their own home very seriously.

    I consider my self a conservative (on economic issues, not so much on social). I live in Northern VA and agree with you on the 2nd part. As do several people I know (who I met in college in CT) who live in New Jersey, New York, Pensylvania (I dare you to call the Jersey guy a hick) and when we read about this over a year ago, yeah, "You can have my property when you pry it from my cold dead hands" was pretty much the summary of our response.

    This is one of the cases that make me wonder how long until we have an open revolt in the country. Or something similar.
  • by wikinerd (809585) on Friday June 24, 2005 @12:10AM (#12897510) Journal

    here is the complete PDF file with the ruling [akamaitech.net], I found it from The Supreme Court website [supremecourtus.gov].

    Although I live in the other side of the Atlantic, I wrote about this issue on my blog [wikinerds.org]. I read most of the ruling, and I didn't like it.

    Here's what happened:

    1. New London is a small city which had high unemployment and declining population levels lately. In 1996 the Federal Government closed a facility which employed 1500 people there, so something had to be done to boost the local economy, especially in Fort Trumbull.
    2. The NLDC (New London Development Corporation) was authorised by the State in January 1998 to help with the situation. NLDC is a private non-profit entity, but its members are not elected by the people.
    3. The city/NLDC wanted to create a state park with marinas, maybe a parking, and hotels etc, in Fort Trumbull.
    4. In February, the pharmaceutical megacorp Pfizer announced it would build a $300 million research facility next to Fort Trumbull. That would create new jobs, so it was good news.
    5. Oopps! But there was a problem: Some land needed for the state park was the property of individuals. This property included residential homes as well as investment homes. NLDC was authorised to buy the necessary land from the people. That's ok, but there are bad news too: NLDC was authorised by the city to seize property too!
    6. Some people (Kelo et al.) disliked the idea that their beautiful home would be destroyed to allow Pfizer open its facility near there. One of these people was born and lived in their home for their whole lives. NLDC said it would seize their homes and provide compensation. The people remembered the last sentence of the Fifth Amendment: "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation". They went to the courts. Their problem is not with the compensation, they don't want higher compensation, it's a matter of principle, about the definition of "public use". Why a Pfizer facility would be of any "public use"? Of course it would be beneficial for the city's economy and create jobs, but is this enough to justify home seizure for "public use"? I personally would say: No! (but IANAL - I am not a lawyer).
    7. Some time the matter reached the Supreme Court of the United States. It decided 5-4 to allow the city/NLDC to seize the property. Too bad: Now corporations have a way to use your land for their factory, if a city government can prove that it would generate more tax revenue, jobs etc than your home. Theoretically the land would still be public property, but in practice some private entity is using it. Do you see the problem? Gov takes your land and allows someone else to use it because it says he can use it more productively than you.
    8. Dissenting Justice O'Connor, J., said in his opinion to the Supreme Court: "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result" (I quoted from Supreme Court of United States case 04-108, O'Connor, J., dissenting, 13, in page 39, I added the emphasis myself).

    I wrote this overview quickly from my memory after reading most of the 04-108 ruling. I encourage you to read it, too, as it contains many interesting references to other court rulings too.

  • Re:bush judges (Score:5, Informative)

    by Firethorn (177587) on Friday June 24, 2005 @12:19AM (#12897560) Homepage Journal
    It's already happened. One millionaire was killed by police during a 'drug raid'. Turned out they were trying to seize his land through the drug seizure laws because the sheriff wanted it...

    It just keeps moving up. This is why I'm pissed at government right now, because they keep trying this sort of stuff, and the courts keep ruling for them, sooner or later.
  • Re:Pardon, BUT... (Score:3, Informative)

    by B.D.Mills (18626) on Friday June 24, 2005 @01:18AM (#12897838)
    Alas, there's no higher court

    It's America. There is a higher court: the media and public opinion. Use them well, for nothing sells like scandal. Spread the story far and wide. Make sure that every person who rents the new offices, every person who stays in the new hotel and every person who otherwise uses the new facilities know the truth. Make sure they all know that the land on which the buildings will soon stand once had private homes, homes that rang with the laughter of children and that have now been seized by a greedy developer for profit. Make it known to all that a developer that can stoop so low as to profit on such unjust seizure of private property will likely do so again; and at all costs they must be pursued and the truth announced to all they would do business with lest they seize more private homes for their greedy ends.

    "It's Mabo, it's the vibe...." -- The Castle
  • Re:Ford (Score:3, Informative)

    by John Newman (444192) on Friday June 24, 2005 @03:46AM (#12898293)
    It's been before that the conservatives of today were the liberals of 30 years ago and that the liberals of today were the socialist party of 30 years ago.
    That's absolutely absurd. It's much closer to the reverse. The socialists of 30 years ago are gone. Latter-day liberals are closest to the conservatives of 30 years ago, while the conservatives of today were the super-radical extremists of 30 years ago. If you look at the rhetoric, the liberals of the 50s and 60s were saying things that would make today's anti-WTO protester blush, while the rhetoric of today's mainstream conservative movement is almost verbatim from the radical reactionaries that no one (at the time) thought had any political future.
  • by cappadocius (555740) <cappadocius@@@vampirethemasquerade...com> on Friday June 24, 2005 @04:02AM (#12898340)
    Or you could look at it this way: The conservatives want the rich to own all the businesses and property. The liberals want the government to own all the businesses and property. What neither side realize is that we're so close to the rich, government, and businesses all being the same, why bother fighting?

    Hardly. The position of the conservatives on the court (who opposed this decision) is that this clearly opens the way for "the rich to own all the businesses and property" precisely because "we're so close to the rich, government, and businesses all being the same."

    To quote from the minority opinion of Sandra Day O'Connor, under the majority ruling:

    "Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall or any farm with a factory."

    Adding that: "The government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more."

    So, in fact, what the conservative judges worry about is exactly the possibility that this will be used to unfairly benefit the rich.

  • Re:bush judges (Score:3, Informative)

    by David Jao (2759) * <djao@dominia.org> on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:10AM (#12898531) Homepage
    Don't forget that when Bush Sr. appointed Souter, he wasn't the President's first choice. He originally nominated Robert Bork, but the largely Democratic senate wouldn't approve his appointment.

    This statement is factually incorrect. Bork was nominated by Reagan, not Bush.

    Bork was a circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1982 to 1988, and was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to the Supreme Court in 1987. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bork [wikipedia.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2005 @04:25PM (#12904291)
    In Arlington, TX, the voters approved by I think 52%-48% a plan to increase sales taxes to attract the Dallas Cowboys from the nearby city of Irving.

    Guess what neighborhoods they chose to buy out the land for the new stadium? Yup, poor areas of town.

    The city will buy the land and lease it to the Cowboys.

    Anti-Cowboy groups and affected landowners were all hoping the Supremes would make a sane ruling in this case. Alas, they did not.

    Here's the kicker - since the land will be city-owned, there will be no city property taxes, no school property taxes, no county property taxes, no hospital-district property taxes, no ....
    The rest of the taxpayers get to make up the difference.

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