6/28/2005

Poetic Justice

I heard today on Rush Limbaugh (yeah, well ok...so I listen to him once in a while...I have other bad habits too) that a developer has filed a motion with David Souter's hometown to take Souter's home to build a hotel based on the doctrine just handed down in Kelo. I almost ran off the road I was laughing so hard. Of course it won't go anywhere, but one could certainly hope!

The trend away from personal and private property rights in this country is frightening. If you don't own your home (well you and the bank and the second mortgage company--but you get the point), what do you have that can't be taken away? There's been a lot of talk lately about the "housing bubble" and whether we're going to see a collapse in home prices. I think the demographics and the laws of supply and demand argue against a major bust, but if people start getting the idea that any local developer with enough ties to the city council or county commission can take your home, that may change. Home ownership looks a lot less attractive if a deep pocketed developer can take it away at will.

And it's more than passing strange that the "liberal" side of the court sided with the developers against the "little people." Isn't it supposed to be the conservatives on the side of corporate greed? Yet the court's conservative wing opposed this innovative definition of public use and supported the homeowners. There are valid, truly public reasons for which homes must be taken--but such takings, while authorized by the Consitution should be rare, not common. And the unpleasant reality, highlighted by the new Souter land grab attempt, is that the well-connected and powerful are not the ones who lose out in these arrangements.

So Mr. Hotel Developer going after David Souter's land--good luck. It would certainly be poetic justice for you to succeed.

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