06-23-2005, 08:08 PM #1Associate Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes
Man, what a day for American Democracy..... "land of the free" my ass!!
and the worst part about this is that nobody will give a damn...
man I wish Jefferson,Franklin, Washington were alive... there would be a revolt..
Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes
By HOPE YEN
The Associated Press
Thursday, June 23, 2005; 10:50 AM
WASHINGTON -- A divided Supreme Court ruled 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 conflicts with individual property rights.
Thursday's 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut 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.
Local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community, justices said.
"The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including _ but by no means limited to _ new jobs and increased tax revenue," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority.
He was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.
At issue was the scope of the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property through eminent domain if the land is for "public use."
Susette Kelo and several other homeowners in a working-class neighborhood in New London, Conn., filed suit after city officials announced plans to raze their homes for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices.
New London officials countered that the private development plans served a public purpose of boosting economic growth that outweighed the homeowners' property rights, even if the area wasn't blighted.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a key swing vote on many cases before the court, issued a stinging dissent. She argued that cities should not have unlimited authority to uproot families, even if they are provided compensation, simply to accommodate wealthy developers.
The lower courts had been divided on the issue, with many allowing a taking only if it eliminates blight.
"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."
She was joined in her opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
Nationwide, more than 10,000 properties were threatened or condemned in recent years, according to the Institute for Justice, a Washington public interest law firm representing the New London homeowners.
New London, a town of less than 26,000, once was a center of the whaling industry and later became a manufacturing hub. More recently the city has suffered the kind of economic woes afflicting urban areas across the country, with losses of residents and jobs.
The New London neighborhood that will be swept away includes Victorian-era houses and small businesses that in some instances have been owned by several generations of families. Among the New London residents in the case is a couple in their 80s who have lived in the same home for more than 50 years.
City officials envision a commercial development that would attract tourists to the Thames riverfront, complementing an adjoining Pfizer Corp. research center and a proposed Coast Guard museum.
New London was backed in its appeal by the National League of Cities, which argued that a city's eminent domain power was critical to spurring urban renewal with development projects such Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Kansas City's Kansas Speedway.
Under the ruling, residents still will be entitled to "just compensation" for their homes as provided under the Fifth Amendment. However, Kelo and the other homeowners had refused to move at any price, calling it an unjustified taking of their property.
The case is Kelo et al v. City of New London, 04-108.
06-23-2005, 11:24 PM #2
This makes a good case for terrorism.......I could fully endorse these people using whatever means necessary to defend their homes.......blow up a few bulldozers......sink a few yachts of the rich ruling elite.......it's time for class warfare in this case........it's obvious the rule of law is not working in the US
06-24-2005, 03:21 AM #3
now u can feel what the opressed people her in the middle east feel , espacialy the palestinians when they see the israelis demolishing their houses and stealing their lands!
06-24-2005, 03:35 AM #4
Got to love the USA. Just make sure you rent and not buy.
06-24-2005, 12:43 PM #5
Damn thats whack....Id politly leave my house and tell them its for a gr8er good then ill bomb the fvcking thing when theyre done with it...just make sure there are no people there....
06-26-2005, 12:22 AM #6
I dont think Jefferson Washington or Franklin would care. After all, they contributed to the constitution, which the Supreme court is simply following...
06-26-2005, 12:18 PM #7Originally Posted by SwoleDave
06-26-2005, 12:31 PM #8
This is really a tragedy! I can't believe things are coming to this.
06-29-2005, 01:14 PM #9
Wouldn't this be funny.....
WEARE, N.H. - Following a Supreme Court ruling last week that gave local governments power to seize private property, someone has suggested taking over Justice David Souter's New Hampshire farmhouse and turning it into a hotel
"The justification for such an eminent domain action is that our hotel will better serve the public interest as it will bring in economic development and higher tax revenue to Weare," Logan Darrow Clements of California wrote in a letter faxed to town officials in Weare on Tuesday.
Souter, a longtime Weare resident, joined in the 5-4 court decision allowing governments to seize private property from one owner and turn it over to another if doing so would benefit a community.
The letter dubbing the project the "Lost Liberty Hotel" was posted on conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh's Web site. Clements said it would include a dining room called the "Just Desserts Cafe" an a museum focused on the "loss of freedom in America."
A message seeking comment from Souter was left at his office Wednesday morning. The court has recessed and Souter was still in Washington, one of his secretaries said.
A few police cruisers were parked on the edge of Souter's property Tuesday.
"It was a precaution, just being protective," said Lt. Mark Bodanza.
Clements is the CEO of Los Angeles-based Freestar Media that fights "abusive" government through a Web site and cable show. He plans to move to New Hampshire soon as part of the Free State Project, a group that supports limiting government powers, the Monitor reported.
The letter was passed along to the board of selectmen. If the five-member board were to endorse the hotel project, zoning laws would have to be changed and the hotel would have to get approval from the planning board. Messages seeking comment were left with Laura Buono, board chairwoman.
"Am I taking this seriously? But of course," said Charles Meany, Weare's code enforcement officer. "In lieu of the recent Supreme Court decision, I would imagine that some people are pretty much upset. If it is their right to pursue this type of end, then by all means let the process begin."
Souter's two-story colonial farmhouse is assessed at a little more than $100,000 and brought in $2,895 in property taxes last year.
The Supreme Court case involved the city of New London, Conn. The justices ruled that City Hall may take over property through eminent domain to make way for a hotel and convention center.
In his majority opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens said New London could pursue private development under the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property if the land is for public use. He said the project the city has in mind promises to bring more jobs and revenue.
At least eight states — Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, South Carolina and Washington — forbid the use of eminent domain for economic development unless it is to eliminate blight. Other states either expressly allow private property to be taken for private economic purposes or have not spoken clearly to the question.
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