Category Archive 'Kelo v. New London'

09 Feb 2006

Souter’s House Saved


The town of Weare, New Hampshire, voting at one of those traditional New England town meetings, rejected a bid to take Justice David Souter’s house by eminent domain. The proposal to seize Souter’s house to build a “Liberty Hotel” had been originated by a California libertarian jokester as a protest against Souter’s vote in the notorious Kelo v. New London decision, upholding a town’s taking of private property for transfer to a developer.

Professor Bainbridge thinks Weare should have taught Souter a lesson.

Ann Althouse endorses the prevailing viewpoint of Souter’s neighbors: He was just doing his job.

Personally, I think that job entails interpreting the Constitution faithfully and correctly, not sophistically bending its provisions to facilitate the empowerment of government at the expense of the rights of the people. Let’s hope that finding himself, even in jest, the potential victim of the involuntary loss of his home made Mr. Justice Souter, at least momentarily, revisit the issue with a keener appreciation of the rights of the individual.

07 Feb 2006

Worse Than Kelo?

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Constitutional originalists shuddered when Justice Stevens exercised his intellectual ingenuity in Kelo v. City of New London to do to the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment what veterinarians commonly do to tomcats. And Yolo County, California is currently in the process of providing further opportunity for judicial creativity.

New London succeeded in winning the right to take residents’ homes by eminent domain, in order to convey their properties to developers, whose residential and commercial projects would promote the city’s economic development. Yolo County wants to seize the 17,300 acre Conaway Ranch, and operate it itself, precisely in order to preclude economic development.

The county intends to get the money from the spectacularly civic-minded (and casino-owning) Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians. The noble red men might be looking for space for another bingo hall, what do you think?

But all this is taking place in America’s Dystopian Future, California, where nobody misses a trick. The beleagured ranchers have reorganized themselves into a rival preservation organization, the Conaway Preservation Group, complete with wildlife management plan.

1/17 LA Times2/5 SF Chronicle

22 Jan 2006

Taking Souter’s House

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Justice David Souter voted with the Supreme Court majority in the infamous case of Kelo v. New London, which upheld the right of city government to use eminent domain to take away a individual’s property for private development.

On the principle of “what’s sauce for the goose,” Silicon Valley Objectivist Logan Darrow Clements took advantage of the law in Souter’s home state of New Hampshire to file a petition for Mr. Justice Souter’s hometown of Weare to take his property for a development project consisting of the erection of a “Lost Liberty Hotel.”

Voters in Weare will decide the fate of Souter’s colonial house on March 14th.

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