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June 24, 2005

post-Kelo, the knives are out in Texas

Jeff Harrell has a thoughtful post on Kelo v New London, though I was surprised that he gives his reluctant support of the majority, based, if I'm reading him correctly, on the reasoning that if a city has an economic downturn, they have the "right" to correct it by any means necessary. In this instance, it's taking private property that was not blighted and handing it over to another private entity on the promise the latter can "do better" than the original owners.

And some cities, it seems, have been just waiting behind the grinding wheel, lovingly getting the butcher knives sharpened just so and wasting no time once SCOTUS delivered the meat

officials in the beachfront town of Freeport, south of Houston, said they would move aggressively to condemn property owned by two seafood companies to clear the way for an $8 million private marina.
Blood on the floor, ladies and gentlemen, blood on the floor.

Posted by Darleen at June 24, 2005 12:57 PM


For the record, I was saying no such thing. I was saying that in this particular case, I didn't find the predictions of doom and gloom put forth by the dissenting justices to be persuasive.

The next case will be the next case.

Posted by: Jeff Harrell at June 24, 2005 01:20 PM

One of the other lawyers in my firm made a comment about this today (after listening to me bellyache over it for hours) which I thought was pretty good explanation of why the left isn't going after this. He said, taking stuff from one person and giving it to another is an essential part of Communism. They believe that the government knows better than you, and therefore, they should be able to control the land and give it to whom they want. Makes sense--that's what the court did here. Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave.

Yesterday sucked for SCOTUS stuff, but Monday is the Ten Commandments decision. I have at least a few cases that are depending on this decision. I am pretty darn nervous!

P.S. Thanks for sticking up for me. I really appreciate it. I know that I shouldn't let those people get to me, but that was insane...

Posted by: E.M. at June 24, 2005 05:23 PM


I know you defined it narrowly in this case; however, the 5 of SCOTUS did not.

As Clarence Thomas pointed out in his dissent, the majority ruling expanded the powers of the government to seize private property. Specifically, they have moved from the phrase "Public use" to "Public purpose."

Posted by: Darleen at June 24, 2005 06:25 PM