WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights.
The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut (search) residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.
As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.
The Fifth Amendment allows for eminent domain, which means that the government can take your property for public use, with roads probably being the best example. Nowhere does it say that increasing a municipality's tax base is "public use". What the Supreme Court just decided was that if a town or city wants to tear down your house for a shopping mall, it can do so. If your city wants to bulldoze your house and put up an apartment complex, it can do so. If your city wants to kick you out of your home so that a developer can put up a bigger house that brings in more property taxes, it can do so.
The bottom line is that your private property rights as you know them no longer exist. The government can take away your land and give it away to someone who wants to put up a gas station.
If the people in New London, CT were to shoot the first fucknut in a bulldozer who was coming at their house, could you blame them? In fact, if the people being uprooted from their homes were to stage an armed revolt at the New London city hall, can anyone say that they were in the wrong?
I couldn't. This is such a gross over-reach of governmental power that it astounds me. And it makes me sure than there will be a civil war in my lifetime. If the institution set up to ensure compliance with the US Constitution now completely disregards it in their rulings (or substitute "international law" for our Constitution, a la Ginsburg), I see no other option than to remove the offending politicians and judges.
It's time to push that "restart button".
A little while ago I linked to this piece from Cap'n Jim, which included this quote from Claire Wolfe:
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
As far as I'm concerned, it's no longer too early to shoot the bastards. We have a Congress who dithers while thousands of illegal immigrants and other various people flood across our unsecured borders. We have a Congress who feels that banning flag burning is more important than fixing the Social Security problem. We have so called representatives of the people who in all honest opinion aren't worth the time it would take to haul them out of the Capitol Building and hang them from a lamp post.
We have so called representatives who don't care one damn bit about the rights of the citizens.
It's time to fire the bastards. And if they won't leave, then shoot them.
UPDATE: Arguing with Signposts has a round-up of reactions, and almost all of them are negative. One blogger says that President Bush needs to come out right now and denounce this ruling. I think that would help, but I don't think it's going to happen. President Bush is a Republican, not a conservative, and I think that's a distinction that needs to be made over and over.
There are very few people who think this was a good decision. And the more I think about it, the worse it looks. And to top it off, I'm in Puerto freaking Rico, where I have to get a permit to even THINK about buying a gun.