• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Paul Clapham
  • Ron McLeod
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Bear Bibeault
Sheriffs:
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Tim Cooke
  • Devaka Cooray
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Tim Holloway
  • Piet Souris
  • salvin francis
  • Stephan van Hulst
Bartenders:
  • Frits Walraven
  • Carey Brown
  • Jj Roberts

This just seems wrong on every level

 
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 153
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also just read an article about that as well, I agree, I think thats messed up. You can't take a person's land and then give it to a private developer...
 
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, I agree. It is a despicable ruling. This will affect the development of a sports complex in Brooklyn where some residents who have lived their entire lives in a neighborhood will now be forced out so that a billionaire developer can build an arena for millionaire basketball players. Interesting that the court liberals sided with the wealthy and the conservatives sided with the middle class.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's an interesting setup where 9 people appointed by the presidents have the authority for making the final decisions that affect millions of people and set the trends and the precedents in the court systems.

Here is my proposed amendment to the constitution: the Supreme Court, just like the US Senate, should be bi-cameral. In the upper chamber of the Supreme Court, we would have the same 9 Justices appointed by the president (and approved by the Senate). In the lower chamber (let's call it the chamber of Representitive Justices), we would have the professional "jury" selected by the voters (with the max term of 8 years). Two jurors from each state would make that lower chamber.

The decision made by the upper chamber of the Supreme Court can only be made into law if it ratified by the majority of the votes in the lower chamber. With this setup, I bet you that the case in question would never resolve into what we've got now with that case under the discussion.

Think of it this way -- if all the decisions are rendered by the juries in all the lower courts, why should it be different for the Supreme Court?
[ June 23, 2005: Message edited by: John Smith ]
 
lowercase baba
Posts: 12933
65
Chrome Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

if all the decisions are rendered by the juries in all the lower courts...


They're not.

There are (i believe) three levels in the federal court system. At the bottom, you have the circuit(?) courts. In cases where you are establishing innoncence or guilt, there is a jury (if the accused wants it).

But in cases where there is a question of interpretation of the law, there is no jury (to my knowledge).

That's what this case was - what does "eminent domain" mean?

and there is certainly never a jury in the appeals court. When you go up to that level, your argument changes. you are no longer arguing the facts of the cases, but you argue whether the law was applied correctly. i'd guess it went something like this:

initial hearings: "you can't take our land - you don't have the right" vs. "Eminent domain says we can"

appeals - "Eminent domain does NOT mean take land for private use" vs. "Eminent domain is for the good of the people, and the people will benefit from this, so it DOES apply"

Supreme Court - "In states A, B and C, they don't allow E.D. to be used this way" vs. "In states D, E, and F they DO allow it to be used this way"

the Supreme Court will OFTEN step in when different states interpret the law differently.
[ June 23, 2005: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 783
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eminent domain, recognized in both federal and state constitutions, is the power of government to condemn private property and take title for public use, provided owners receive just compensation.

Sometimes people forget that last part... Although to what extent someone's compensation is just is subjective.
[ June 23, 2005: Message edited by: Paul Bourdeaux ]
 
Dan Maples
Ranch Hand
Posts: 153
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Paul Bourdeaux:
Eminent domain, recognized in both federal and state constitutions, is the power of government to condemn private property and take title for public use, provided owners receive just compensation.

Sometimes people forget that last part... Although to what extent someone's compensation is just is subjective.

[ June 23, 2005: Message edited by: Paul Bourdeaux ]



Yes... but in this case they are qualifying "public use" as giving the land to a private developer, the justifaction being that the taxes collected from the project go to the public. So even if they are being justly compensated, their land is being sold to a private developer... the grey area in this case "public use," the core of this arguement is what qualifies as "public use."
 
Paul Bourdeaux
Ranch Hand
Posts: 783
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting that the court liberals sided with the wealthy and the conservatives sided with the middle class. Actually it isn't all that suprising... It falls along the lines of interpretitive law (liberal view) vs intended law (conservatitive view). This has less to do with economic structure of those involved and more to do with the differing views of the role of the court.
[ June 23, 2005: Message edited by: Paul Bourdeaux ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 126
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anybody interested in commercial development of the land on which the court stands. er! may be a Walmart and a Sam's club supercenter or somethin'.

What's that smell?
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1071
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This ruling basically says private property rights only extend as far as the state allows you to keep them. In short there is no longer private property.

Taken from another forum about this issue:

Ayn Rand tells all about this in "We the Living". Based on her actual life experiences after the Soviet take-over in Russia. People's homes were declared "state property" and became multi-family dwellings. You get to keep the living room, we're moving the Kazinski's into the family room, the Komosov's into the dining room...
This Supreme Court decision opens the doors for this type of confiscation.

 
author and iconoclast
Posts: 24203
43
Mac OS X Eclipse IDE Chrome
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Steven Bell:
This ruling basically says private property rights only extend as far as the state allows you to keep them.



This ruling basically says that the supreme court doesn't have jurisdiction here, and existing state laws should be interpreted by the state courts, individually. Nothing has changed. Nothing to see here, move along.
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nothing has changed. Nothing to see here, move along.

In a dissenting opinion, joined by three other Justices (including The Chief Justice), Justice O'Connor wrote:


Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded--i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public--in the process.

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 624
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds just like the story behing the classic Australian comedy movie "The Castle" - In which a struggling working class family fight a "Compulsory Purchase Acquisition Order" on their home by a corporation trying to extend Melbourne airport....

Very funny film.....

(Of course in the end they win in the supreme court and get to keep their house [surrounded by airport buildings] - a big "up yours" to the establishment)
 
chowdary Thammineedi
Ranch Hand
Posts: 126
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Why won't the STATE invest in something rather than GRAB something?

Oh yeah, it sure smells of COMMUNISM to me.

Oh what? The Grabbed will be the New STATE? You Bet? REVOLUTION!
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:


This ruling basically says that the supreme court doesn't have jurisdiction here, and existing state laws should be interpreted by the state courts, individually. Nothing has changed. Nothing to see here, move along.



No. This ruling means that the US constitution doesn't prevent the state (or its agents) from taking land for any purpose they like as long as they can make some sort of claim that it's for the public good eventually (however indirectly).
State and local laws have always been allowed to give people more freedom than the constitution sets as a minimum, that doesn't change.
What it does change is that cities (and states) can now take whatever land they wish for any purpose and not just for use in projects which are run by themselves and directly profit the people (like road construction and communal facilities).

Under this ruling a city official can come knocking on your door at any time and tell you your property is being confiscated for the public good, that's basically all the excuse they need.

And of course there's no definition of "just compensation", a city planner might deside that paying you the original purchase price for the land itself (so without the property on it) is just and fair, then go around and tax you on that money (which is after all income from a sale and therefore taxable).
 
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have to agree with Jeroen here. I try to judge issues on merit, not the right-or-leftness of them. The merits on this issue seem lacking. Does anyone have access to the actual arguments?

M
[ June 24, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oral Arguments
 
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
and the decision: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04slipopinion.html (case 04-108 Kelo vs. new London).

It states almost explicitly that anything that could be construed as "benefitting the public" is enough reason for the government to steal someone's property.
Effectively it voids the 5th ammendment, as the requirements for seizure have effectively been removed.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1241
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wonder what they consider to be just compensation for taking a person's home. Note I said "home", not "house", because its more they're taking then the bricks and mortar. For some people the place they live has tremendous emotional value, and I can't see how they can be compensated for loosing that.

Still, how can it be stopped? OK, so the place is a democracy, so in theory people could vote for someone who will stop this law... but they won't. There's only ever two people to choose from, and their policies differ by 0.01%. This kind of thing is just too good for a politician (imagine the kick-backs from the developers), so I can't see either candidate being bold enough to stand on a platform against it.
 
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In the US the citizenry has the right to take up arms against the government to defend the constitution but I somehow doubt that will happen (though individuals may shoot it out with police who come to tear their houses down).

As to "just compensation", that's generally thought to mean "current market value".
Of course that can be manipulated easily by first stating that the ground is up for confiscation to be redeveloped by company X and then company X making an ridiculously low offer on the property (which is then the market value because noone else is going to offer anything higher for property which is to be confiscated soon anyway).
But in reality it's all up to the people confiscating the ground. If they decide to give back the amount of money it was first sold for to the original owners (maybe $100 or so) there's little you can probably do to change that.
 
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In reading over the arguments, it seems that the New London attorney really flubbed it.

M
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1033
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
As to "just compensation", that's generally thought to mean "current market value".
Of course that can be manipulated easily by first stating that the ground is up for confiscation to be redeveloped by company X and then company X making an ridiculously low offer on the property (which is then the market value because noone else is going to offer anything higher for property which is to be confiscated soon anyway).
But in reality it's all up to the people confiscating the ground. If they decide to give back the amount of money it was first sold for to the original owners (maybe $100 or so) there's little you can probably do to change that.



The current market value of a property that hasn't been sold recently is usually determined by examining the selling price of comparable properties that have sold recently. In this case what the other residents got when they sold their properties to the developer adjusted for any change in the overall market in the area.

A low-ball offer from the developer is not likely to be considered as a valid current market value. I suspect a waterfront property in Connecticut is worth significantly more than $100, and may actually be worth more without any buildings on it.

Also if the property is a principle residence, I believe you can avoid the tax by buying another residence.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So let's say I am a business owner and you have a nice house on a corner of a fairly busy street. The market value is $500,000. You don't want to move because you have lived all your life there and even if you did move you would have to buy a new house and pay for moving and all the inconvenience. So I could increase my offer until you would be willing to take it, let's say $1,000,000 would be enough. Or I could donate $100,000 to the mayor of the town's re-election campaign and get him to force you out.

The end result is that this is government interference in what should be a private transaction. Take my offer or I will force you take "fair-market value" which is whatever I can get some court to say it is.

There is no more private property in America. You own what the government lets you own until the government finds someone with poitical connections who wants it more than you do.
 
Steven Bell
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1071
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

There is no more private property in America. You own what the government lets you own until the government finds someone with poitical connections who wants it more than you do.



They don't even have to want it more than you. They just have to want it.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 985
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In a Chicago Suburb, the owner of a shopping plaza, composed of mostly Korean businesses, had been reluctant to sell his property to the village. The village wants to replace the plaza with a Super Target. I guess with the recent court ruling, the owner will be forced to sell.

It is indeed sad to know that the definition of private property has been altered.

Chicago Suntimes article Court shows homeowners door
[ June 24, 2005: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]
 
Paul Bourdeaux
Ranch Hand
Posts: 783
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Has anyone else read this link: Eminent domain: A big-box bonanza?
 
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Steven Bell:


They don't even have to want it more than you. They just have to want it.



True. This ruling marked a sad day for America.

M
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 815
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
I wonder what they consider to be just compensation for taking a person's home. Note I said "home", not "house", because its more they're taking then the bricks and mortar. For some people the place they live has tremendous emotional value, and I can't see how they can be compensated for loosing that.



Just imagining them telling Oddyseus, with his bed carved from a living olive tree, that he's gotta move out.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5040
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

There is no more private property in America. You own what the government lets you own until the government finds someone with poitical connections who wants it more than you do.



Thats the summary I got from the news. Well said.

- m
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looks like the owner of the house scheduled for the demolition is not leaving. The bulldozers are all around the house, but she is staying put. I would not be surprised if she lies on the path of those bulldozers to her house, where she lived for 70 years. Reminds me of the plot in the "The Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy", where the homeowner made it the purpose of his life to prevent his house from the demolition, only to find out that the entire Earth was about to be destroyed to make way for the inter-gallactic pass.

I've heard on the news today that there are some motions in the senate to pass a law strenghening the homeowners' rights, in defiance to the Supreme Court decision.
 
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good. I've heard from several sources that people are planning to not give up their property, they'd rather go down shooting and try to wake the rest of the country up.
 
peter wooster
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1033
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I heard today on the CBC that a private developer has applied to turn Justice David Souter's home into a hotel, given that he sided with the "eminent domain" ruling.
 
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Volokh has determined it's likely a hoax.
http://volokh.com/posts/1119986258.shtml
 
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Posts: 12933
65
Chrome Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wasn't the ruling actually stating that the FEDERAL government doesn't have the right to step in? I have not really analyzed the ruling, but from what i have seen, it seems to me the court said that it should be up to each state to set it's rules on what can/can't be taken - not that big business can do whatever they want.
 
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The ruling states that under the constitution there is no restriction on the confiscation of private property by the government for the benefit of private third parties.
It leaves it up to the states to incorporate such restrictions in their constitutions if they so wish.

So it does not limit what cities and other governments can do but does provide a way out for states that want to limit their lower governments (limits some states already have I believe, these states are therefore not affected).
 
peter wooster
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1033
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Volokh has determined it's likely a hoax.
http://volokh.com/posts/1119986258.shtml



My reading of that is that its not a hoax, he made the application, rather it was a piece of political theatre. He has no expectation of success, but it does advance his Objectivist objectives, and gets his name in the Boston Globe.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
Wasn't the ruling actually stating that the FEDERAL government doesn't have the right to step in? I have not really analyzed the ruling, but from what i have seen, it seems to me the court said that it should be up to each state to set it's rules on what can/can't be taken - not that big business can do whatever they want.



What it says is that the there is no constituional protection from having your property taken from you by your local government no matter the reason they want it. This means that if a rich businessman wants your property, there is almost nothing you can do to prevent him from taking it as long as he pays off the right politicians.
[ June 29, 2005: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read about this today morning. Its shocking and I am surprised!
 
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Posts: 12933
65
Chrome Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They mentioned something interesting on NPR this morning. In the Eminent Domain case, the courts ruled that the Federal government does NOT have the right to trump the states rights.

but in the Medical Marijuana case, they CAN trump the states...
 
Steven Bell
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1071
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
They mentioned something interesting on NPR this morning. In the Eminent Domain case, the courts ruled that the Federal government does NOT have the right to trump the states rights.

but in the Medical Marijuana case, they CAN trump the states...



That not a correct comparison. In the ED case it was not a matter of State Law vs. Federal Law, it was a matter of the definition of "public use" as described by the 5th Amendment. There was no State Law in play.
 
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic