Jump to content

Social Justice& Court's Eminent Domain Decision


des
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yikes, you folks hear about the High court's eminent domain decision? The idea of eminent domain, which used to be confined to building a public structure (or infrastructure) like a highway, water treatment plant, or school has been revised to include private property. For example, a town can decide that a neighborhood is blighted thru a series of strangely applied standards (houses have weeds, house needs paint, etc) and decide that they would make more money building a high priced condo or high end shopping center and take your house. Or can just take it thru some other reason, "our city needs the money". I like what the dissenting opinion about "no Motel 6 can stand up against a Ritz Carlton, no house against a high priced condo, etc." (though I don't have this quite right). Yikes this is scary. In the future we may be worried about *middle class* housing and not just low income housing. IMO, this IS a social justice issue. Sounds like Rome all over again.

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's part of the continuing erosion of property rights in this country. First, an arbitrary percentage of our earnings can be confiscated for the "greater good". Now, our very homes can be taken away. Property rights are one of the foundations of a free society and must be protected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm surprised that I have found some people consider this a "liberal" issue (I mean that liberals would want to take land away and give it to a private condo) and that some fo the more liberal members fo the court voted for. I consider that *if* the land were taken for actual public structure (highway, airport, etc), in fact, this is even in the constitution. But I don't consider long term "public good" taking away private property for private ends.

I actually think it could end up decreasing low cost housing more than middle class housing, which is sure to be "blighted", esp by "new" considerations. I don't think the motives for this are particularly liberal OR conservative. I don't quite think it is easily categorized. I tend to think this comes from having too much money in politics perhaps. Though it doesn't exactly explain the court vote. Perhaps there was a very "good case" by the city and a much "weaker case" by the individuals. I read that the city claimed it was going bankrupt, that type of thing.

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Des, I agree that this shouldn't be a liberal/conservative issue. I've not heard anyone, regardless of political stripe, who agrees with this ruling.

 

The U.S. Constitution was set up to, among other things, protect the individual against an over reaching government. I heard one view that rang true--"So if I had a house that I wanted to leave to my heirs, now the government can take that house to give (sell) to a developer, who can eventually pass the asset on to his heirs." Amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard one view that rang true--"So if I had a house that I wanted to leave to my heirs, now the government can take that house to give (sell) to a developer, who can eventually pass the asset on to his heirs." Amazing.

The idea behind taxing inheritance in general is so that families don't have the right to amass enormous wealth over generations, and effectively become "corporations" in their own right. The problem isn't just that people are losing fundamental human rights: it's that corporations now have more human rights than humans do. Corporations have routinely been pleading the 14th amendment to claim immunity and due process for 150 years, while it's rarely ever used for its original purpose of guaranteeing these rights to actual naturalized human citizens against the abuse of corporate power. It's amazing to think that a constitutional right can literally become twisted into its exact opposite, right under our noses.

 

I don't have that much difficulty per se with a just form of "eminent domain," or inheritance tax, or the like; I think people do have a fundamental obligation to the society that provides a supporting structure for education, employment opportunity, leisure, etc. -- even when these structures apparently can be corrupted by private interests rather easily. What I have a HUGE problem with is putting corporate rights in a position of precedence over human rights.

Edited by FredP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have that much difficulty per se with a just form of "eminent domain," or inheritance tax, or the like; I think people do have a fundamental obligation to the society that provides a supporting structure for education, employment opportunity, leisure, etc. -- even when these structures apparently can be corrupted by private interests rather easily.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, in a government of the people, these are the kinds of decisions that we make with our friends and neighbors, for our common benefit. We won't always agree with the democratic majority, but we'll respect it because it represents what the people believe to be their common best interest. Clearly this requires a whole lot more maturity and democratic self-determination than our culture currently seems to be able to muster.

Edited by FredP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is sort of OT, or maybe not, but I'm sure the Founders were quite aware of families becoming something like corporations, as I'm sure that was quite a likely thing back then.

 

I'm pretty sure they had no idea that cooperations would be considered "individuals" and be protected by things like "free speech" (think political parties can lie freely as this is free speech-- even if libelous at times).

 

The words "eminent domain" appear in the constitution (I think) regarding proper payment. There was no need to define it more precisely. I don't think they would ever imagined someone having their home torn down to make room for a Walmart. Perhaps the Founders might have imagined a library??

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service