Monday, February 21, 2005


From Betsy Speicher's CyberNet:

On Tuesday, February 22, 2005, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Kelo vs. New London, for what could be an historic turning point in the battle for an individual's right to his own property against the government's power of eminent domain.

The argument on behalf of property rights was written by Dana Berliner, senior attorney for the Institute for Justice.

On Monday, February 21 at 12 Noon, on the steps of City Hall in New York City, Develop-Don't Destroy, a Brooklyn based group opposed to the abuse of eminent domain will hold a press conference.

At this event, CyberNetter Joe Wright will be one of those speaking against eminent domain abuse. Joe will be speaking as the defacto New York City representative of the Castle Coalition, a part of the Institute for Justice. (CyberNet, 02/20/05.)

In the news:

The Constitution's Fifth Amendment allows governments to seize private property in a process called eminent domain, as long as the owners receive "just compensation" and the property is for "public use." Kelo and the other property owners involved in the case say the city's plan does not represent a "public use" for the land. The city disagrees and says all the town's residents would benefit from the project. (USA Today, 02/20/05.)

Here is an excerpt from the article, The tyranny of eminent domain, by Larry Salzman and Alex Epstein.

If the Supreme Court rules against the property owners in Kelo, then no one's home or business is secure. As Dana Berliner, an attorney for the owners, explains: "If jobs and taxes can be a justification for taking someone's home or business then no property in America is safe. Anyone's home can create more jobs if it is replaced by a business and any small business can generate greater taxes if replaced by a bigger one." (Enter Stage Right, 02/21/05.)


UPDATE: [Editor's note to Allen Forkum: Thanks for sending me the cartoon!]

Castle Coalition (05/26/04)

Charles Gargano, head of the Empire State Development Corporation, is considered by CC to symbolize eminent domain in New York State. (Black & White World II, Other Art, ETC., page 225.)

UPDATE 02/23/05:
Read the post All Your Base Are Belong To Us at Coyote Blog. [Via Accidental Verbosity.]

UPDATE 02/25/05:
Here is an excerpt from the article, An attack on property rights.

How safe is the ideal of private property rights in America? We may soon going to find out. ...

We are reminded of a point of view expressed by philosopher/author Ayn Rand: "The idea that 'the public interest' supercedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning - that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others." ...

If the Supreme Court sides with the city in the Kelo v. New London case, it can be safely assumed that no individual's home or business is secure from government seizure.

That is not only unfair, it is un-American. (Santa Maria Times, 02/25/05.)

Here is an excerpt from Collin Levey's article, Taking a wrecking ball to property rights.

There's a famous photo from Tiananmen Square that has long captured the public imagination: In it, a single man in street clothes stands down a line of Chinese tanks rolling in to put down a protest.

The image came to mind this week while the Supreme Court was hearing oral argument in Kelo v. New London, a property-rights case in which politics is being conducted by bulldozer. ...

Property rights were written into the Constitution explicitly to defend against this very brand of wrecking-ball politics. Respect for private land is what separated this country from others with a penchant for seizing and nationalizing things at whim.

So here's to property owners around the country who are standing up to the bulldozer's advance. Let's hope the Supreme Court gives them reason for a toast. (The Seattle Times, 02/25/05.)

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