So liberals on the Supreme Court side with private business, make that big business (Pfizer in this case) over the rights of homeowners. The ruling tramples the little guy, the working person with dreams of home ownership. Will the liberals be outraged by this erosion of property rights at the expense of big business? Imagine if the conservatives on the Court voted for this instead? We wouldn’t hear the end of it.
Don Luskin on the SICK DECISION,
Let’s be clear about where populist liberals really stand when they seem to be supporting “the public” and “the community.”
A Supreme Court decision today, with all the liberals voting in favor, has cleared the way for government to condemn private property under eminent domain for commercial redevelopment. That means, simply, that individual families can have their homes seized against their will so that rich developers can put up shopping malls and office parks — so long as some government entity makes a case that it’s for “the public good.” So who’s the “public” here? Obviously, it’s whoever has more power to influence government decisions.
Who’s responsible for this decision?
Justices John Paul Stevens David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Anthony M. Kennedy joined the majority opinion in Kelo v. City of New London, No. 04-108. Justice Kennedy also wrote a separate concurring opinion to emphasize that while there was no suggestion in this instance that the plan was designed to favor any individual developer, “a court confronted with a plausible accusation of impermissible favoritism to private parties should treat the objection as a serious one and review the record to see it if has merit.”
Justice O’Connor’s dissenting opinion was joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. She emphasized that rather than adhering to its precedents, the court had strayed from them by endorsing economic development as an appropriate public use.
“Who among us can say she already makes the most productive or attractive use of her property?” Justice O’Connor asked.
She added: “The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”