Saturday, June 23, 2007

Kelo vs. Domestic Spying media attention

The domestic spying scandal has had all of the press lately, but why haven't we heard more about Kelo?

Kelo vs. The City of New London, CT, is the most important Supreme Court decision of our time. It allows eminent domain to run rampant in our country unless checked through local and state legislation. The local legislators have not limited it enough, by design, allowing eminent domain to continue in states where it should not. The Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece on this today (subscription may be required). There is a second commentary piece on the excuse of "blight".

Eminent domain was created to allow public projects like railroads and roads over private property. It prevents a private land owner from jacking up the price arbitrarily to allow those types of projects across their land. What it should not allow is a land grab for private condominium builders, and that's exactly what Kelo allows. Last I checked, there's a highly regarded document that has something to say about this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Kelo, unfortunately, would have passed even in the current Court (with the addition of Roberts and Alito).

With all that, as people lose their property, your chances of hearing about domestic spying in the media are about 5 times greater than the chances of hearing about Kelo. Check out the GoogleFight between the two. Domestic spying sounds really bad, but how many people have it affect their daily right to live? We don't hear about Kelo because too many lobbyists for condo builders are pushing to keep those rights in place. "Dog and Pony Show", as the WSJ called the state legislators' investigations into eminient domain abuse, is pretty much the best term to label it with. I'm sure they were serious about it until the condo builder gravy train started to complain.

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