Friday, June 24, 2005

Major Blow to Freedom

From the Cato Institute a condemnation of the recent appalling rulings from the Supreme Court (aka the Government's Court):

"The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that local governments may force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed," according to the Washington Post. "The 5 to 4 ruling provided the strong affirmation that state and local governments had sought for their increasing use of eminent domain for urban revitalization, especially in the Northeast, where many city centers have decayed and the suburban land supply is dwindling."

"With [this] decision, no one's property is safe," says Roger Pilon, director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies. "Since any time a government official thinks someone else can make better use of your property than you're doing, he can order it condemned and transferred. [Yesterday's] decision, the third loss for property owners this term, together with other recent decisions from this Court, marks this as 'The Government's Court,'" Pilon added.

Mark Moller, a Cato senior fellow in constitutional studies, says, "Property rights are the foundation of a free society. Securing those rights is among the most important goals of our Constitution. Unfortunately, [this] ruling breaks faith with the Constitution, by holding that local bureaucrats have the power to take your property and give it to someone they hope will generate more revenue for city coffers. That leaves every property owner and small business person with more reason to fear that their homes and businesses will be confiscated for the benefit of someone wealthier or better connected. That's the very opposite of the system of stable private property our Founders meant to secure."

The decision was favored 5-4 by the LIBERAL justices in the Court. It'll be interesting to hear (or will they be silent?) what the leftys have to say about this.