Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Seizing Justice through Eminent Domain

This week, the Supreme Court declined to reconsider its execrable decision in Kelo vs. New London, the already-infamous case consenting to allow a local government's power of eminent domain to be used to seize private homes in order to hand them over for private development. KipEsquire has been on this case from way back, and was the first to bring it to my attention. This latest development was unsurprising, but what caught my interest in reading about it were some of the creative protests that have sprung up. Apparently, a California libertarian is spearheading an effort to build a new luxury hotel in the small town of Weare, New Hampshire, and has filed paperwork with the town to condemn an old farmhouse as the site of the new hotel. The twist? The farmhouse is the home of Justice David Souter. The proposed Liberty Hotel would include a Just Desserts Cafe. Elsewhere in the "Live Free or Die" state, an effort is underway to condemn the Plainfield NH vacation home of Justice Stephen Breyer. The public use? They want to create a public park dedicated to the US and NH state constitutions. I haven't relished such creative protests since a couple years ago when some quick-thinking protester published the home phone number of the US District Judge Lee West after he struck down the federal do-not-call list. These sort of things make me proud to be an American.

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