Thursday, June 23, 2005

Domain Game: We now have a Supreme Court ruling at which both liberals and conservatives can be shocked and dismayed. The Supreme Court essentially ruled that government can take over private property whenever it sees fit (providing only "just compensation" under the Fifth Amendment).

Conservatives should cringe at the government overreach. Liberals should scorn at the favoritism toward rich corporations.

Doesn't private property mean anything in this country? I can see government clearing the way for a needed road, school, or public utility. I can even see an argument for something privately owned but publicly used, such as a sports stadium. But knocking down hundred-year-old homes for a business complex and a parking lot is not "public use".

In this case, people lived in the homes for decades. Some families owned them for more than 100 years.

This is not just a legislative concern, because the public won't bother itself with every zoning issue. Besides, the public has no right to vote to take away what belongs to me.

If Congress is so hot on constitutional amendments lately, then here's one that both sides should agree on and would restore more rights on the people. Return eminent domain to its original intent.


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