Free Markets, Free People


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 10 Jul 11

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss the L.A. Counties harrassment of desert dwellers, and the ongoing budget negotiations.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.


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So Where Does Ms. Kelo Go To Get Her Home Back?

I‘m sure she’d appreciate it given how hard she fought to save it.  But alas it is no longer there.  In one of the biggest “Constitutional” travesties in my lifetime, the Supreme Court sided with the city of New London to essentially give the property to a private concern which had promised to “lure jobs” to the town.  In a total misuse of eminent domain, the property on which Ms. Kelo’s house used to sit is a “wasteland of weeds”.  And Pfizer, the company that was going to bring all those jobs in return for the condemnation?

Pfizer’s laying off and closing up shop there:

Pfizer Inc. will shut down its massive New London research and development headquarters and transfer most of the 1,400 people working there to Groton, the pharmaceutical giant said Monday….

Pfizer is now deciding what to do with its giant New London offices, and will consider selling it, leasing it and other options, a company spokeswoman said.

How about just handing them over to Ms. Kelo? In this disgraceful, but landmark case, 5 justices managed to somehow twist the law to the point that they agreed taking the town’s taking of the Kelo property for redevelopment at the be behest of Pfizer, a private concern, on the promise of more jobs somehow met the ‘public use’ criteria. The ruling put the property of every American in jeopardy of taking for almost anything a local government can dream up. And it remains in jeopardy today.  Pfizer should have been left to offer homeowners a price if they wanted that land so badly.  It should never have seen the government, at any level, involve itself.  And it darn sure shouldn’t have seen the Supreme Court approving the use of “eminent domain” to take the property.

Scott Bullock, Kelo’s co-counsel in the case, told me: “This shows the folly of these redevelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain.”

I’ll go one further than Mr. Bullock – this wasn’t an “abuse” of eminent domain, this completely rewrote eminent domain, to the detriment of the right of private property. The Kelo ruling was wrong and it was as anti-liberty as any recent ruling the Supreme Court has made. If you had confidence that the SCOTUS had your back on Constitutional matters, this ruling alone should have disabused yourself of that notion.

And look how well it has ended.