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Friday, December 09, 2005 

Kelo and Souter's Farm

After the Kelo v New London eminent domain decision this summer, there was a huge backlash against eminent domain abuses and the Supreme Court itself. One of the avenues of attack was an attempt to take Justice Souter's farm property to build a hotel. Todd Zywicki at Volokh has a post concerning the developments regarding the Lost Liberty Hotel.

I totally disagreed with Kelo and that trend in the use of eminent domain to take private property and give it to another private party in the guise of a general "public use." When the hotel idea was brought up, I thought it was a funny attempt to grab media attention about the issue. Now, it looks like they are serious. I think this is going a little overboard. I disagree with Justice Souter's vote in the case, but I don't think that it deserves reprisal. Justice Souter was doing his job to the best of his ability. I think he screwed up, but I don't think he should be personally punished for it. It sets a bad precedent. Judges and Justices should be allowed to do their jobs and not worry about popular opinion. That's why we insulated them from facing election.

Plus, we should keep Souter happy. Hopefully, he'll retire soon to that farm. Taking it from him will just anger him and keep him on the Court for years.

I say bullshit. If a judge or justice decides a case, the case not only impacts society as a whole, but it effects the individual justices that made the decision. If you think that it is proper to give private property to another private party, in the disguise of 'public use' and because the new party will increase the tax base of that property, then you have to deal with the consequences.

One of the consequences is just this, the application of HIS decision towards his property. I hope they take his farm, build a hotel, and then in 2 years the hotel goes under and the land is sold at auction back to him.

Kelo was by far, one of the BIGGEST reaches in the Supreme Court HISTORY. It is a matter of time, maybe a few years, before this issue is revisited and Souter's decision in Kelo will be reversed.

In the meantime, stick it to him. The punishment fits the crime.

Don't piss Souter off. He's only 66, the third youngest Justice on the Court. I'd like to keep him calm and relaxed. The last thing we need is to put a wild hair up his butt about this. He'll stay on the Court for 2 more decades! If he loses the farm, he's got nothing left to lose. He's got nothing to go home to.

Keep him happy and let him ease into retirement. That's the avenue to take.

So what's next, let's give in the Democrats because we dont want to piss them off? Let's give them control of both Houses of Congress and the Presidency?

You logic is hysterical. I cannot believe you of all people want to 'not rock the boat' in hopes that it will get better. When has that EVER worked?

This is not the same as giving in to the Democrats. They are elected. They can be voted out of office. Souter's not going anywhere unless HE chooses to do so. The last thing we need is a young, radicalized Justice on the Court for 20 more years.

unless he supported your views, then you would be all for keeping him on the court as long as possible, as would I.

But the reality is that he made one of the worst SC decisions of ALL TIME. Separate but Equal doesn't even come close to the absurdity of this decision.

You put a group of young children together and they would understand that if you own something, you cannot be forced to give it to someone else just because they want it. That is what Kelo comes down to.

We are not talking about taking property for governmental uses, or for beneficial societal purposes. We are taking private land, from private landowners and giving it to other private entities to increase tax revenue. THIS IS THE WORST DECISION OF ALL TIME.

Disclaimer: Note, I am neither pro or anti Souter or pro or anti anything. The preceeding commentary is NOT my opinion or beliefs, not shall it be construed that way. I love America, I love law, I love the Supreme Court, and I love life. Please do not use this against me in any way. I know that Marquette is on the lookout for rogue bloggers, and ED is probably on the top of their list. End of disclaimer

I think you are going a little overboard. I think that Dred Scott and Korematsu are far worse decisions.

Also, I don't think your disclaimer is going to work. You are already completely IDed on your blog (via that opinion article you wrote for the Trib and linked). I still have a small sliver of privacy, since my last name hasn't been directly attached to my blog. They know who you are.

Also, Prof. McAdams blog is EASILY public enemy number one in MU's eyes. If I'm second, I'm honored.

Korematsu and Dred Scott reflect society at the times the decisions were made. People didn't know any better and they were making decisions based on what the common law and federal law were. At the time of Dred Scott slaves were still considered property rather than humans.

There is a big distinction here, Kelo represents what we wanted to get away from since our independence. Get away from that almight Governmental Figure that could take your land and make you do what it wanted because it was "it". Now we have Kelo that allows people to take your land because they can increase the tax base. Hell, why not just become a communal republic instead? Why not make everything revenue driven, then using common sense? The reality is that for a society that has come as far as I thought we had, the US SC took a MAJOR step backwards in Kelo. A step that hopefully can be corrected within the next couple of years, with or without Souter. Let's hear Kelo II as soon as Souter's farm is turned into a hotel and one of the other Justice's lose their comfy 2nd or 3rd home.

The Justices are insulated from public scrutiny, rightfully so, but there is no reason that the full extent of their decisions should not be brought upon them. An argument to the contrary, brings us one step closer to...well, i dont want to think about that.

Disclaimer: Note, I am neither pro or anti Souter or pro or anti anything. The preceeding commentary is NOT my opinion or beliefs, not shall it be construed that way. I love America, I love law, I love the Supreme Court, and I love life. Please do not use this against me in any way. I know that Marquette is on the lookout for rogue bloggers, and ED is probably on the top of their list. End of disclaimer

I'm shocked to say this, but you are officially more pissed off about Kelo than I am. The crown is yours. But my point is that I don't want Souter riled up. There have been rumors that he is considering retirement. Tinsley Yarbrough, who recently wrote a book about Souter, has pushed that idea. Souter doesn't like urban DC (he got mugged recently while jogging), he loves his farm, and he gets his full pension as of 2005. O'Connor was also one of his closest friends on the Court. She will be gone in a little over a month. Keep him happy, let him retire in peace soon.

Kelo did bring about something good. It got the public interested and angry about eminent domain abuse. It put pressure on legislatures to enact limits on eminent domain power. It also made Howard Dean look stupid (yet again) when he made this statement, “The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is ‘okay’ to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is.” Number of Bush appointees on the Court for the Kelo decision: zero. Brain cells in Howard Dean's head: zero.

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