Thursday, January 04, 2007

Court to revisit Kelo?

We can only hope so. From Time's blog:
A private citizen wants to develop on his own property but because part of it is inside a "redevelopment zone", the land owner must either pay extortion money to a developer or have his city take the land. If that doesn't sound un-American enough, a Federal Court then ruled that the citizen has no recourse.

It used to be that buying in a neighborhood which wasn't so great but which had potential to improve provided a real, if risky, investment opportunity. The risk was like that of any other investment: the situation might not improve as expected and the asset would therefore not increase in value. Following Kelo, we now have a much more insidious risk: The better the likelihood that the neighborhood will improve, the greater the chances the government will steal your land.

This is the insane situation that the unconscionable Kelo decision has put all Americans in, and we can only hope that the Supreme Court will use the opportunity in the case of Bart Didden versus Port Chester, NY to clarify what they said in Kelo. By "clarify" I mean we must hope that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the clear villain on the Court in that case, reconsiders his prior disastrous vote with the Courts "liberals". It simply can not be that a man's home is his castle unless a government can make more money by giving it to someone else.
I can think of no civilization that refused to recognize property rights that has ever survived, and the court has a chance to keep that same fate from happening here. Banking on Justice Kennedy, though, to do the right thing is as reliable as banking on Bush to veto a non-stem cell bill.