The latest Supreme Court ruling has upheld land seziure by the city of New London, CT, who took private residential property for in order to destroy the homes in the area to allow developers to build a riverfront hotel, health club and offices.
This should be something that both Conservatives and Liberals can agree on. Should governments (be they local or federal) have the right to take private property for no other reason than the officials have decided that the land would be better used as something else?
What infruriates me even more is the judges ruling in favor of taking private property jump on a high horse about local control instead of federal.
Writing for the court’s majority in Thursday’s ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens said local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community. States are within their rights to pass additional laws restricting condemnations if residents are overly burdened, he said.
When has Justice Stevens and the rest of the left leaning judges ever been concerned about local control instead of federal? And this case has nothing to do with that. It is about granting government the power to take your land because they feel like it and decide that you don’t need your house as much as the town needs a new condo or strip mall.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor nailed it when she wrote:
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.
I want all the Liberals who spend their time preaching about how they are the ones who stand up for the little people to decry this ruling with me and other Conservatives. It is the little homeowner who is going to get run over by businesses and government.
The last word should go to one of the residents, Bill Von Winkle, who will be losing his house because 5 judges don’t understand the Constitution:
It’s a little shocking to believe you can lose your home in this country.