The supreme court just confirmed that eminent domain means “the power to take your property for pertty much any reason we please”. You don’t own your homes any more, folks; you’re simply squatters until Wal-Mart saunters up to your local governmant and says “I’ll take that one, please”.

There are some who would see this as a problem with big corporations, but it’s not. It’s a problem of governmant assuming more and more power and then being a whore for the aforementioned corporations.

If I’m ever killed in a bloody Ruby Ridge style standoff, it’ll as like as not be because I had the gall to defend my legally owned property against corporate thieves and their government pit bulls.

Clue to the aging douchebags of the Supreme Court: the chief reason the free market fails in developing nations is because their governments lack an ingrained respect for property rights. There is no reason to think that principle will not hold true here, too.

UPDATE: This is a good opportunity to address a common misconception. Some critics of capitalism would say that this is exactly what is wrong with it. But eminent domain is, as I noted in a comment below, expressly anti-capitalist. Ironclad property rights are the very foundation of capitalism. The idea that it’s okay to take away someone’s property and give it to someone else if it serves “the common good” (by some arbitrary definition of “good”) is more properly a socialist principle.

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  1. I saw a similar article on CNN.com just 20 minutes ago. S-C-A-R-Y! I can’t believe the government will let a few capitalist mongrels dictate what millions of citizens and “private” property owners can and can’t do. What is wrong with our country?!?!?!?!?!?! So now I have to worry about some company *wanting* to come into MY neighborhood, tear up MY house I worked so hard for, and build some selfish-money-making piece of crap.

    F#@*ing Bush! (and all that government bull…I just like to blame Bush for EVERYTHING. It makes me feel a *little* better!)


    1. I just like to blame Bush for EVERYTHING. It makes me feel a *little* better!

      Well stop, because it doesn’t accomplish anything. Some of the most “conservative” judges on the court dissented from this decision, and the two democrats concurred with it. This isn’t a Republican thing or even a Democrat thing; it’s a power thing. And remember, it’s LOCAL governments – at the level of the city and county – who are most in favor of eminent domain laws.

      I’m sorry if I’m a little harsh – it’s just that I knew, without very little doubt, that the first comment I got would contain some Bush and/or Republican bashing, even though this issue has nothing to do with them. And I hate it when I’m right about stuff like that. Having a scapegoat just means failing to hold the real villains responsible.

      (Hint – it’s not the Capitalists, either. Property rights is a core capitalist value, so this decision is expressly anti-capitalist. Eminent Domain, which says that the state can take away your property when it serves “the common good” (which they typically define as “greater tax revenue”), is more accurately a socialist concept.

      1. It ain’t about the Demmicans or Republocrats

        You nailed it. It’s about power. I don’t think pure libertarianism is useful, but I’m increasingly sympathetic to the idea.

  2. I just read about that ruling and I was shocked. I agree with you completely. Clearly the government has lost all respect for its citizens when it violates property rights in order to build an office park. I know Conneticut is small, but surely there’s somewhere else they could build. When we lived in Fairfax county there was a lot of redistricting going on, but the homeowners were happy about it because businesses would come in, say “We want to knock down your house and build and office park, but here’s a buttload of money to make you feel better.” That’s how capitalism should work, and the government should uphold it. I was glad to read what Sandra O’Connor said, and I think (for once) that she’s right. It’s handing power over to the tyrants and it’s absolutely ridiculous.

  3. Here, I have to agree wholeheartedly with you…

    Even commie pinko liberal that I am find this decision to be downright awful and I’m disgusted that the “liberals” on this court (+kennedy) were the ones who were in the majority…

    It’s fucking disgusting.. While I can agree with the historical truth that government does often play a role in helping to create economic growth in the country..(building infrastructure, doing basic research, buying shit for the military, etc etc..) since when does this more general rule get so fucked up that it is now being used by the gov’t to steal the property of one citizen only to give it to another citizen????????


    In my view, I can actually see a practical use for eminent domain only when it comes to various infrastructure improvements.. and even then it has often been abused for to the benefit of private interests.. (like when they constructed the bronx highway… for the benefit of rich car owners–they decided that they could put a highway right through the middle of poor, yet vibrant, ethnic neighborhoods… and they literally destroyed the neighborhoods in the process…)


  4. it isn’t as all-encompassing as it seems. connecticut has a very strong leaning towards granting that domain already. the ruling clearly states that in a case where the local laws leaned more towards protecting that private property, they would rule in favour of the citizen. the government, in this case, is NOT assuming power – they ruled to stand by the existing local and state laws, rather than pre-empt them.

    all of which doesn’t change it being upsetting and disturbing.

    1. I realize; and this is one of the rare occasions where you will see me complaining that the fed is NOT stepping up to the plate. Generally speaking I’m a strong advocate of federalism; but one of the few legitimate roles of the federal government that I recognize is ensuring, amongst the myriad social experiments of the states, that certain very basic rights are respected.

      This Court seems very confused. It gives the federal government power to prosecute state-endorsed medical marijuana recipients; but it goes all federalist when it comes to private property.

  5. Doesn’t the Declaration of Independence guarantee Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Property?

    1. The Declaration doesn’t “guarantee” anything, unfortunately. Judges are not bound by it – only by the Constitution. They can look to it for help in judging the founding fathers’ intent, but as far as I know, that’s about it.

      There *is* the Due Process clause in the Constitution, but it essentially states that you can’t be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. (5th and 14th amendments.) I think that the Justices’ ruling was probably based at least partially on due process *having* been served here, but I still think it sucks and I don’t like the ramifications of it. 🙁

      You do know that you mixed a phrase from the Declaration with a phrase from the Constitution, btw – and I can’t quite tell if you did that intentionally for the sake of sarcasm/tongue in cheek humor. 😉

      1. Sorry, it was Thomas Paine’s Common Sense that said pursuit of property. I misquoted.

  6. Nice link

    To ILD, Hernando de Soto is very much a GOOD THING

    I noticed who stood up for private property — O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia ad Thomas.

    That being said, as I understand the decision, it makes US eminent domain law about the same as it is in the rest of the Anglosphere. Such as Oz.

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