"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
--Joseph Stalin

Friday, June 24, 2005

Supreme Court: Eminent Domain Includes Anything, 5th Amendment Protections Declared Dead

Will Malven

Well, I never thought that I would be asking this other than in a joking manner, but could it truly be time for all patriotic citizens to prepare to take arms against the government?  I have been guilty in the past of making fun of the “loony” gun-toting militias, or in declaiming them for endangering all “sane” gun owners’ rights.  It appears that I may owe them an apology.  As scary as the proposition is, they might, possibly, maybe, could, potentially (I can’t believe I’m saying this), have been right.  Yeesh!  It may be time for modern day “minute men” to assemble in cities like New London, Connecticut to assist the home owners there like Bill Von Winkle, whose working class home is endangered by this unbelievable expansion of eminent domain, in fighting the oppression of a government gone completely out of the control of its citizens. 

Has judicial activism gone so far as to rewrite the constitution out of whole cloth? How is it possible that Justices at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), the self-appointed arbiters of what is or is not constitutional could so defile the Fifth Amendment?  These are people who have taken the following oath:
 “I [name] do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as Supreme Court Justice under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So, help me God”
The case was one of eminent domain, in which the city of New London, Connecticut sought to seize the private property of citizens and award it to a private contractor to build a commercial development including a riverfront hotel, health club and offices in hopes of attracting tourists to the Thames riverfront, potentially increasing tax revenues collected on the property. This is a ruling giving local governments broad powers to seize private property to generate tax revenue.  Justice Stevens said in writing the majority opinion, “Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government.”  Now, not only has our “wise and noble” Supreme Court expanded the meaning of “public use” to include “promoting economic development,” but in this ruling they found law to support giving that seized land to a private corporation for commercial use in hopes of increasing revenue!  There is not even any guarantee that the new development will actually generate those additional monies, just the potential.

The Fifth Amendment says:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except incases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger,; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
I see absolutely nothing about seizing private property for the use of a private party (in effect private use, not public use). 

Impeachment is a word that has been bandied about quite a lot recently in regards to President Bush for mythical charges which have any validity only in the minds of delusional Democrat politicians and conspiracy buffs.  Here we have a case of a judiciary very clearly going well beyond the limits of its powers as laid out in the constitution, and creating law where none exists.  This ruling violates the Bill of Rights’ most important protections as delineated in the Ninth and Tenth amendments.  For those of you not conversant with them, they state:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
The court in this ruling has usurped those rights “retained” and “reserved” by and to the people in these amendments.  It is very clear to me that this ruling is a clear violation of the “good behavior” limitation on a federal judge’s term of service, and that impeachment proceedings can and should be immediately initiated against all five of these justices.  Because of the breadth of this ruling, and the implications towards all private property rights, they have demonstrated their immoderation and a complete disregard for the constitution.  They have displayed their arrogance in dismissing the words of the constitution in favor of their own. It is clearly incumbent on the members of the House of Representatives to act to correct this betrayal of trust.

If you believe that I am over reacting, then you need to pause a moment and think about the wording, the exact wording, of this ruling, and its implications on all of us.  “Property” does not just mean real estate, property, as defined in law includes everything you own.
  • If my car is paid for or if it is an older car, does the local government have the right to seize it and force me to buy a new one because it is no longer generating as much in tax revenue as the new one would?   
  • If I own a business, does the local government have the right to seize it and give it to another businessman because he “might” be more successful than I and therefore generate more tax revenue than I do?
You think I’m being extreme?  I don’t, just look at the lengths that some in our society are willing to go to stretch the meaning of the law in more mundane cases.  A simple examination of tort law cases should frighten any skeptic into at least taking a second look at this ruling. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that this is an expansion of governmental power that is breathtaking in its scope.  It is perhaps an even more egregious example of judicial activism than Roe v. Wade.  In Roe, the court merely found new law where none existed.  In Kelo v. New London, the court has not just invented new law; it has ruled in direct violation of the Constitution’s protections of private property. 

To our founders, private property was the paramount expression of our freedom.  It was held as a sacred right, one of the “natural rights” given us by our Creator.  It was for the right of private property every bit as much as religious freedom that our fore fathers left their home countries for the New World.   

We have, as their descendents, no right to abrogate those freedoms. We have a responsibility to them and the sacrifices they made for us and our children so that we could live in this glorious country. “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” those are not just words on a page; they describe this nation and its people.   

We are the government, and those people we sent to Washington work for us.  It is time that we made them remember that.  For two-hundred and thirteen years we have fought “against enemies both foreign and domestic” to preserve the rights guaranteed to us in the Constitution.  We even felt that this Nation was important enough to go to war with ourselves to preserve it and its freedoms. 

This violation, this rape of our constitutional rights cannot and must not be tolerated.  I urge all who read this to write their Senators and Representatives about this ruling.  It is time for our timid seemingly reluctant congress to take firm and resolute action.  

Tell them that the time for equivocating is over.  You are either a patriot who believes in the U. S. Constitution or you are a sniveling anti-American coward, undeserving of the title of American or Congressman.  Never has there been a stronger argument for approving all of President Bush’s judicial nominees as fast as possible.  A strong, conservative, originalist, judiciary is the only way to save this nation from its gradual decline into the abyss of communism and destruction in which the state holds power over your every breath.

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

W.B. Yeats-The Second Coming

God Help and Bless America.

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