Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dude, Where's My House?

The Supreme Court ruled that local governments can seize private property to give to another private entity, if the local government feels it would be for the better public good. So a couple of poor saps in Connecticut are getting their houses taken away (given money in return for the displacement, and the properties are being given to Pfizer, who will pay more taxes than those poor saps. Who will be those next guys? I thought this was America, where you can live free and be secure in your house not being taken away for the greater cause of greasing the government skids.

Because I am not a lawyer, I recommend you read Glenn Reynolds' posts on the issue (he is the famed Instapundit). But if you really don't want to get mired in legalese, all I know is that the fourth amendment to the Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

All this talk about "Eminent Domain" and "Public Good" just confuses the issue for me. It's about the freedoms America affords. It's like the wise Cox and Fulkrum say:

Update: From the Fifth Ammendment to the Constitution:
...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
This is the justification for Emminent Domain. While useful is some select cases, this particular supreme court decision is too broad, in my opinion.


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