Monday, January 23, 2006

UPDATE: Vote On Condemnation of Justice Souter's Home Set

Logan Darrow Clements, owner of FreeStar Media, has been continuing his effort to have Justice David Souters' home condmened so that the Lost Liberty Hotel can be built on the land.

As reported here before (and here and here), the effort is in response to Souters' part in the Kelo v. City of New London opinion that allowed condemnation of private property for hte purpose of purely private development.

His effort, which is likely in vain, has resulted in a special election:

The group, led by a California man, wants Justice David Souter's home seized for the purpose of building an inn called "Lost Liberty Hotel." They submitted enough petition signatures — only 25 were needed — to bring the matter before voters in March.

This weekend, they're descending on Souter's hometown, the central New Hampshire town of Weare, population 8,500, to rally for support. . . . "All we're trying to do is put an end to eminent domain abuse," Clements said, by having those who advocate or facilitate it "live under it, so they understand why it needs to end."

The petition asks whether the town should take Souter's land for development as an inn; whether to set up a trust fund to accept donations for legal expenses; and whether to set up a second trust fund to accept donations to compensate Souter for taking his land.

The matter goes to voters on March 14.

I don't think this effort should succeed. This type of abuse was wrong in New London, and it is wrong here. But I don't think that is the point. Maybe Souter and his 4 fellow justices now recognize was "public purpose" means.

UPDATE: Welcome readers of Torie Bosch's column in Slate. I'm not sure that my opinion was entirely represented by the soundbite. I hope my "nuance" is more clear after you have read this post and the comments. Also, please browse if the fancy suits you.

SECOND UPDATE: spd rdr and tee bee continue this discussion on their sites.


At 1:44 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

While I thought it was "cute" ight after Kelp was handed down, I think its stupid to waste the time and money of the good people of Weare on a stunt like this. I also think that attack Judge Souter as an individual citizen instead of his decision (along with others) is , at minimum, disrepectful of the judiciary, and perhaps undermines the last respected instituion in the country.

Boo, Mr. Clements. Go home and write a letter to the editor.

At 2:02 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

With decisions like Kelo and Raich, and the contemptful and presumptuous treatment in confirmation hearings, I'm not sure SCOTUS is a respected institution. Feared seems to be the word.

Clements is playing by the rule book to get attention that will not be granted in any other way - we cannot vote down justices, and we can't get Congress to curb them either.

If Kelo isn't revisited and EmDo isn't reined in soon, we are far closer to living under a fascist state than anyone imagines.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger KJ said...

I'm betwix you two, though closer to spd.

I think what he is trying to do is wrong. I think his message is a good one, though, and he is playing by the rules. He is getting the publicity on the issue -- good. He got the signatures for the vote, unwise though they have been given. At least that is fair and by the rules.

He is seeking to do to Souter exactly the same thing he said was Constitutional in Kelo. That does not make it OK, see below.

If they were going to vote on something else that day, the cost of this additional measure is pretty insignificant. If not -- stupid waste of money.

There is something unseemly about the personal attack on Souter's home. It is very threatening and in poor taste. I suppose the response would be that he allowed this to be done to other people, but that doesn't justify it. Judges have to let bad things happen sometimes. Bad things can be consitutional, and a correct consitutional decision may allow the legislature to do those bad things (see, Roberts opinion in the arrest for the french fry case). It just so happens that I agree that Kelo was not one of those "consitutional but bad" things. It was one of those "unconstitutional but bad" things.

From the looks of Souter's farmhouse, it is certainly no better than the homes in Kelo that were considered unworthy of allowing to exist.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

I dunno, tee bee, maybe you're right about the amount of respect the Court gets these days. But I still think that attacking Souter persoanlly is misguided, even if it is perfectly legal and effective. It smells too much like Cindy Sheehan for my taste.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

Cindy Sheehan used a dead person to mount false accusations at a sitting president; Souter made it okay for Susette Kelo's town board to sell her property out from under her.

And no one really cares anymore.

If/when Souter's house is transferred to Clements, that will change. Otherwise, it's just another law/ruling/precedent that is kind of like lightening in the minds of most people. It might strike me, but it probably won't.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger a former european said...

I am a big fan of having idiots like Souter hoist by their own petard. Libs should have to deal with the consequences of their stupid ideas, and thus learn to leave the rest of us alone.

I hope they take his property as soon as possible.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Pile On® said...

I am with spd, Souter shouldn't be singled out personally.

They should go after the property of the other four justices that voted with Souter on Kelo.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Pile On® said...

No one is above the law.....


At 11:01 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

I'm bailing. I see no need to trash KJ's blog with what I am about to say.
Follow the trackback. We accept logic, heavy weapons, Visa, or Mastercard. But we appreciate most an open mind.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger camojack said...

Speaking strictly for myself, I wish I lived in New Hampshire for this. The recent eminent domain decision is a travesty of justice, and something needs to be done about that dangerous precedent. If it involves penalizing those responsible, THAT is justice, IM(NS)HO...

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous RWing Nut said...

Of couse Judge Souter should feel the impact of his decisions. Otherwise Scotus will continue to act like the law is for "the little people".

If you going to enable an ever-expanding government power by making extra-Constitutional decisions, you ought to be willing to live under its rule, even if that means loosing your home to another private party.


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