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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
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Saturday, June 25, 2005

More Contempt for the U.S. Supreme Court

I'm a little late to cover this, but I'm so angry about it I'm going to do it anyway. For those few people who haven't heard, the U.S. Supreme Court has once again decided to erode the principals that this nation was founded on. According to the article in the title link:

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.

Just to make sure everyone is clear on this:
Cities, counties, states and other governments can now literally seize a person's home via eminent domain and give it to someone else.

California, for instance, Proposition 13 severely limits increases in property taxes for homeowners. Each year, the property taxes on a home cannot increase by more the 2% unless the home is sold to a new owner. An elderly couple that bought a house for $60,000 in 1940 can't be driven out of their home by property taxes just because it is now worth $500,000. Under the Supreme Court's Kelo v. New London decision, local government could simply seize the house and sell/give it to a developer who in turn sells it to someone else at a tidy profit. Since the house was sold, taxes would then be reassessed based on the $500,000 current value and the city/county/state suddenly would see a big increase in tax revenue. Never mind the fact that the house used to be the legal and private property of someone else! The developers get a profit, the government gets more taxes and the original property owner gets screwed.

It used to be a given that governments could only use eminent domain if the seized property was going to directly be used for the public good, such as for building a new highway. The idea behind this is to give the government a chance to forcibly evict people from their home in extreme cases where the land is desperately needed for a project that will have tremendous public benefit and where the homeowner does not want to sell or cooperate with the project. This court decision just threw that idea out the window and onto the manure pile. Now, something as trivial as increased tax revenue could be used to invoke eminent domain. All a developer needs to do now is bribe his favorite politician and *POOF*, the land that they want is seized and handed over to them.

Francis Poretto a.k.a. "The Curmudgeon" has responded with a sentiment that is being echoed throughout the blogosphere:

...your Curmudgeon has decided to announce his intentions:

  • He will resist with force any attempt to expropriate him, up to and including the cost of his own life.
  • He will regard the lives of all persons complicit in an attempt to expropriate him as forfeit, and will take them without consideration or restraint.
  • He will assist any neighbor in similar resistance, without regard for the consequences.
  • He will use his personal resources to accumulate similar pledges, properly formed and geographically circumscribed, from like-minded persons, and will propagate them constructively, to the best of his ability.

It's "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" time, friends.

Come and take it, statist bastards. Just try.

For those of you sitting there in silent rage wondering what you can do about this, write your congressman. Remember, according to Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court must function "under such Regulations as the Congress shall make". In theory Congress could overrule this decision with a 2/3 vote.

For more coverage of this issue, check out Michelle Malkin's two posts featuring numerous quotes and links to various blogs and online articles.



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