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Our 'evolving' Constitution
9 years ago
[re the Kelo Decision]

On June 23, 2005, by one vote, the Supreme Court
trashed both the 2nd section of the 5th Amendment
-and, "The Social Contract".

[The Social Contract is not a legal document, it is
simply an analytic description of what makes any
civil society possible.]

In 1793 Jean Jacques Rousseau warned that this day
[6/23/05] would come when he wrote in his famous
"The Social Contract":

"Government . . is wrongly confused with the sovereign,
  whose agent it is...

-If the time should ever come when the [government]
has a particular will of its own stronger than that of
the sovereign and makes use of the public power
which is in its hands to carry out its own particular
will -when there are thus two sovereigns, one in law
and one in fact-at that moment the social union will
disappear and the body politic will be dissolved."

Well, that day has come, and were it not for ignorance,
apathy, and above all the complexity of modern society
we should all be rioting in the streets.

Local governments as "agents" of the State/Nation are
authorized to act on behalf of the sovereign, but in
their ignorance/arrogance many have mistakenly assumed
that the power of the state is actually theirs to exercise
at their whim.

So many have parted ways with the traditional exercise
of the 5th amendment's "public use" that their improper
interpretation is now treated as a de facto form of
"stare decisis". [as in "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."]

In other words, the supreme court has decided that the
Constitution is an "evolving document" and that the
term "public use" may be reinterpreted such that
"public" no longer equates to the sovereign, and "use"
may be interpreted as anything of benefit to any portion
of the public, usually meaning the Local government itself.

The 5th Amendment was designed to protect the individual
from the rich & powerful. Now it helps the rich & powerful
to victimize the individual by forcing him to contribute his
property [for arbitrary and inadequate reimbursement] to
support what amount to "local Charities". i.e., increased
local revenues.     ...Its all about the money.

The deed to your property is substantially no longer worth
worth the paper it is printed on.

What are you/we going to do about it..?

Many state governments have enacted or proposed legislation
to correct the situation but on reading thru, it seems that
"loopholes" are generally included.

What is needed is to overturn the Kelo decision of 6/23/05,
and work toward a restoration of the traditional interpretation
of "Public Use". -In the end this may require another
Amendment to the Constitution.






9 years ago
Petition?
9 years ago
Petitions..?
---------------------
Not nearly enough!

We need to Organize our thoughts and our group.

We need to know the conditions under which ordinary citizens can actually make a difference.

We need to know the who, what, where, why, and when of successful past actions and be able to relate that knowledge to our present and future actions.

We need to enlist the aid and knowledge of people who have carried out successful actions in the past. [not necessarily on this topic, -any action by ordinary people which has actually produced a desired change.]

We need to know of alternatives*, how they work, and what level of success can be expected of them.

*To name only a few: "Letters to editors", letters to legislators etc., marches, bumper stickers... [-Please add to this list.]

We need access to practical knowledge needed to carry out these and other alternatives.

We need some good URLs for such things as say -a list of the addresses and e-ddresses of legislators and established groups.

Keep in mind the principle that "its not so much What you know as Who you know" -and work on obtaining access to ombudsmen and/or anyone with some sort of 'leverage'.

Share something practical, not just ideas, opinions and emotion.

If each of us makes only one small but practical contribution...-well, you get the idea.

Make it worthwhile for your peers and others to grant the most important thing of all: Commitment!
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Feel free to improve on this 'wedge'....

9 years ago

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!

NEEDS TO BE WELL-THOUGHT-OUT, THO; ENTERED INTO SERIOUSLY, EVEN PRAYERFULLY [I SPEAK AS AN ATHEIST], AND WITH FULL ACCEPTANCE OF, AND KNOWLEDGE OF, THE CONSEQUENCES INVOLVED.

NEEDS TO BE NON-VIOLENT -- NO HARM TO PERSONS OR TO PROPERTY.

NO NAME-CALLING OR SUCH -- JUST PEACEFUL, NON-VIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.

Have participated in a few such actions myself. In my 69 years. Some were associated with such groups as the Quakers.

These can make a tremendous impression on Public Opinion.

9 years ago
For example, there have been held non-violent actions in the world, not just in the U.S., when people got evicted from their homes, or were threatened with eviction. 
Robert
9 years ago

This group is "ThePetitionSite Center." It is a group for presenting and discussing petitions.

If you wish to discuss this topic, I recommend a discussion group such as the one I invited you to, or that other group of which you are a member.

I for one would like more information on this topic. But this group is not the proper forum.

9 years ago
Civil Disobedience
--------------------

Worthwhile advice to those who are contemplating it. I am not.

I am simply suggesting that the Supreme Court be advised that the public is aware that the concept of an 'evolving Constitution" is bogus when evolution means a complete reversal in philosophy and panders to the venality of Local governments.
Government should protect its citizens, not victimize them.
 
9 years ago
i have lots of urls and these sites know by your zip code who the emails need to go to:


http://www.themmob.org/
http://www.purpleocean.org/front
http://www.oeom.org/
http://www.procare.org/
http://gopetition.com/
http://www.nrdc.org/
http://www.newdream.org/

i have lots more if you want them. there are many sites out there with easy to sign petitions, send emails, find out local activism.
now days there really is no excuse for not being able to get information on issues, bills being voted on, and ways to let your local,state, national reps know how you feel.
9 years ago
Lulux, sorry, I thought this Was the discussion group. Can you redirect me..
9 years ago
lulux please go to 'post of the year' and 'what else can we do' threads and remind those guys of the reason for this site.
i think we are discussing the need for information, petitions, and action which is an appropiate subject.




















Robert
9 years ago

You are a member of Acustic Coffe House, which I just joined to see if you had posted anything there. I am not familiar with the group, but I'm guessing it would be a good place to discuss the Kelo decision.

I am a member of American Politics, to which I sent you an invitation. I have brought up that topic in AP at least twice, but that was a long time ago.

I would be interested to learn of any new developements, and any information you would like to share.

Thank you.

9 years ago
i am just curious why we can not discuss here? its better then half the threads on this place. and why does robert need someone to tell him where to post?
9 years ago
Ann S 'Lots of URLs'
-----------------------
                                Thanks, -off to a good start!

Actually tho its not a question of My wanting them, -rather its that interested parties need access to them.

'nowadays there really is no excuse'
-------------------------------------
                                                 True, -but an excess of information is part of the problem.

For any one person to sort thru even a fraction of all these sources just produces fatigue.

We need a number of volunteers who can vet and give a simple description of these sources so individuals can have some advance knowledge as to which ones will best suit the needs of whatever strategy seems promising. [Many hands make light work :-]

Ann
9 years ago
Robert can post here, but this place is mainly meant as a place to post PETITIONS (hence the name 'PetitionSite Center'); if everybody just goes ahead and start discussions here then it's kinda difficult to find apetition which one can sign, got it?
why does robert need someone to tell him where to post?
9 years ago
Why does robert need someone to tell him where to post?
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Because 'Robert' is a total "newbie" without a clue as to
how all this C-2 and computer stuff generally works.

-Also its way past my bedtime. hopefully I can repair all this at a later date.
9 years ago
my point was regarding the other threads that have become nothing but hate and abusive "best site of the year" and 'what can we do to help' no one has addressed that problem which has sickened many of us. but when someone makes a decent and informative post suddenly people show up wanting them to move to somewhere else to post.
i felt we were having a meaningful discussion which has become rare on this site.
and i think you are doing fine robert. newbie lack of sleep or not. i apperciate reading something here besides hostile abusive discourse.
Robert
9 years ago

I agree totally, totally, totally with Ann S.

You're a newbie, wait till YOU get attacked and your threads de-railed by some of the morons around here.

I hope it never happens; but, if you run afoul of the Bush agenda, it might very well happen. Don't worry, you will have plenty of help if you get attacked. Please don't back off, whatever you do!

COINTELPRO is alive and well, and was never killed by the Church hearings in the Senate in the '70's. Just probably changed its name to something else. [Also known as the "Dirty Tricks" of several Administrations besides Bush's, against their "enemies".]

The Bush supporters have actually succeeded in disrupting some groups and driving some people away; but, we are learning how to deal with them; and, the Care2 managers have been alerted as well; altho they tend to move slowly.

You have a very good thread started here; don't let anyone tell you where or where not to put it; the group that was mentioned for you to move to, I hear some not-so-good things about that group; I won't say any more.  I don't want to prejudice you; your experience of it might be different.

9 years ago

Robert, thanks for the breath of fresh air. I personally welcome a discussion thread starting here..... well one that shows some brains, and a decent heart. There have been many "discussion" sites started here with some of our less concerned members involved, so Roberts was pleasing to encounter.

I just finished Rousseau's "Social Contract", Penguin Books has re-issued it as part of their "great ideas" series. It is a compelling read. I too have had a great many concerns with the focus of American Government, living north of you here in Canada. With coporate entities eyeing our water. There has been a scary trend lately in American politics with the Homelands security act being extended.... the fifth amendment becoming more fragile, among a great many things. I fear that we may be seeing the slow death of the great democratic experiment started by your founding fathers, it would be good to "hear" ideas that could kick start an apathetic public or we all may wake up and find it's no longer "for the people, by the people".

Thanks Robert...

9 years ago
rick thank you for your wonderful post. we are losing our democracy down here and unfortuntly we have too many "comfortably numb" people who don't even see it coming. our founders are rolling in their graves.
many of us may be joining ya'll up there soon to escape our persecution by the moral majority, greedy corporations, and dictorship wannabe government.


Comfortably Numb (Gilmour, Waters) 6:49 Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home? Come on, now, I hear you're feeling down. Well I can ease your pain Get you on your feet again. Relax. I'll need some information first. Just the basic facts. Can you show me where it hurts? There is no pain you are receding A distant ship, smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying. When I was a child I had a fever My hands felt just like two balloons. Now I've got that feeling once again I can't explain you would not understand This is not how I am. I have become comfortably numb. O.K. Just a little pinprick. There'll be no more aaaaaaaaah! But you may feel a little sick. Can you stand up? I do believe it's working, good. That'll keep you going through the show Come on it's time to go. There is no pain you are receding A distant ship, smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying. When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse Out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone I cannot put my finger on it now The child is grown, The dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb.
Robert
9 years ago

Thanks for reminding us of Rousseau's "Social Contract"!

To "vaccinate" yourself against the trolls here on Care2, you could go to the thread on Care2 Feedback & Suggestion, {F&S}, and read the thread "Feedback from Elizabeth L.", in its entirety. As a "newbie", I don't want you to suffer from the "culture shock" that some of us did, when the paid disruptors appear suddenly out of a clear blue sky, to sucker-punch you for some little thing you said that displeased the Bush/Karl Rove agenda! Well, 'nuff said, you can go see for yourself.

 Sorry, sorry, sorry, we all are, that newbies have to be exposed to such trash. We are trying as you can see, to do something about it here.

AP, American Politics, has a rep of being -- shall we say -- "unkind" to dissent. Again, you'll have to see & judge for yourself. I have never actually joined that group. My time is far too valuable. So, you don't have to take MY word for it.

You have no idea, Robert, since you haven't seen what's gone on here before, how welcome an intelligent discussion, for a change, is in this group!!!!!!!!!! We are soooo grateful! Even if I should end up disagreeing with you, or you with me {most people do, at some point!}, we welcome a person of integrity with some other agenda besides name-calling and "having fun" by trying to torment people!

9 years ago

why does robert need someone to tell him where to post? Sunday, 11:02 PM Why does robert need someone to tell him where to post? -------------------------------------------------------------------- Because 'Robert' is a total "newbie" without a clue as to how all this C-2 and computer stuff generally works. -Also its way past my bedtime. hopefully I can repair all this at a later date. robert you have nothing to repair, barbara and i are just trying to warn you to be careful where you end up at posting and if attacked just move on and find place where people are more friendly, and they are out there. my point with the links is each one is specfic so that people can choose one that is best suited for their needs and desires. i look people to be aware that there are many petition sites out there most without negative feedback, and many more direct actions.
9 years ago
Here is a possible, fairly concise "Letter to the Editor"

Corrections, Comments..advice..punctuation, etc....?

Letter to Editor: Re Abuse of the Power of Eminent Domain


On June 23, 2005 a sacred trust was violated by the Supreme Court.

To date only the victims and their supporters have become involved.

The public at large needs to be informed of the need to take action
against the far reaching consequences of this pernicious decision.

Action must be taken to :

1. Restore the Social Contract - Overturn Kelo vs New London

[The prompt state by state corrective legislation by many, but not all states seems
commendable but serves merely to create unnecessarily circumlocutory documents
containing serious "loopholes" which tend to defeat the document's stated purpose.]


2. Restore the 5th Amendment, whose purpose was to defend the individual against the rich and powerful, and
is now interpreted to do exactly the opposite.

3. Clarify that:

A. - "Public" = All of the people of The Sovereign State, not the citizens of a particular locality.

B. - "Use" = Actual 'use' by that Sovereign, not venal dealings for real estate that remains
in private hands to private profit.

C. - "Power of Eminent Domain"

- is a power which resides in the Sovereign state and is not to
be used at the whim of those local governments who are merely
the agents of that Sovereign.

[ D.] - "Stare Decisis" - cannot be 'created' by a "lack of decision" to correct an ongoing failure by
state governments to act responsibly to curtail unconstitutional abuse of
their agency powers by local governments.
Points of Law & History
9 years ago

The attempt to distinguish city from state is not well made in the context of "Kelo".  Under CT state Supreme Court precedent from the early 1980's, "Dwyer v Farrell", all 169 cities and towns in that state exist as "creatures of the state", entirely under delegated authority, and do not have a fully autonomous legal existence as they do in some states.  County governments largely exist on civil defense maps, but not in any functional form, also unlike many states.  100% of Connecticut's land area is incorporated within local government jurisdictions, noting limited Federal and Indian reservation properties. 

Under 10th Amendment separation of powers, such distinctions as to whether there is local autonomy within states, or not, or statutory areas of jurisdiction and lack thereof, are state's rights and not Federal issues. 

The issue of whether property seizure for third party private commercial purposes is legitimate remains highly suspect. 

==

The entire issue of private property is a Constitutional paradox.  Much of the land so defined was seized by genocidal campaigns in an era when natives were defined as other than humans.  The history of private property under Common Law is a variant of taxes as a form of rent to a feudal barony sovereign, and not truly private ownership as many other ideologies envision it.  Given that there exist religions and cultures entitled under the 1st and 14th Amendment to have views that the Earth cannot be owned be given equal protections of law as others who endorse privatizing everything, and eliminating most public commons, at best law has an obligation to deal with precarious balances of private spaces and public commons so as to neither fully favor nor oppress either such ideology. 

==

Would peaceful protests be able to mitigate "Kelo"? 

If the New London leaders causing this litigation had been wholesale voted out, as the Dover, PA school board was for implementing the now reversed fraud of ID as if science education, that could have sent a message about public opposition. 

Absent that kind of public opposition, and given the level of corporate power in local government, and parallel issues in other locales, it's possible that it might take some rather severe and obnoxious tactics to cause similar politicians in other jurisdictions to think twice before abusing emminent domain.  It's not that difficult to create a 5-10 mile dioxin plume or infiltrate an aquifer with mercuric chloride or more severe toxins, as anyone dealing in preventing environmental damage from normal industrial operations learns.  A single moderately intelligent individual treated unjustly by both local politicians and courts could easily trash neighboring residential and commercial land over a wide area, in ways that would intimidate local governments across the country from considering "Kelo" a desirable economic model.  The fact that ecoterrorism is often excluded from homeowners and commercial property insurance could make that kind of tactic all the more effective, and leave neighbors who voted in corrupt politicians with mortgages but no homes. 

The most effective way to avoid causing targets of property seizures to feel that abused and unjustly treated would be to prevent approval of projects as contributed to the Kelo precedent.  One incident that destroys a 3000 acre area of homes and businesses would be a high cost for failure to prevent political abuses for economic profit, a bad challenge for a democratic Golliath to risk motivating a victim to do.  And, one person with less means than the average impacted homeowner could cause that degree of damage. 

The safest route is to head off political pressures to play such perverse games early on.  Kelo appears to be bad law, but it only comes up if politicians abuse homeowners. 

Points of law
9 years ago
Re Points of Law & History 3:26 PM

The attempt to distinguish city from state is not well made in the context of "Kelo".
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RH: Yes, and Sandra Day O'Connor does not seem to understand the meaning of 'sovereign' when she said in her assenting statement:

".. the Court today significantly expands the meaning of public use. It holds that the sovereign may take private property currently put to ordinary private use, and give it over for new, ordinary private use,"

See: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-108.ZD.html

It was not the sovereign but rather the city of New London [in this case]. Also, I have seen several instances in which it was stated [or intimated] that the City of New London "Gave" the power of eminent domain to Pfizer. How can they "give" a power which they themselves do not have?
In the ordinary course of things, and as a matter of practicality, a city is authorized to use the state's power of eminent domain; but when a city interprets and abuses the law to its own ends it should be challenged and dealt with.
Well, they Were Challenged [by the victims, not the state, as should have been the case] and the 5th amendment has now been reinterpreted, negated in fact, so as to justify an action which was and should continue to be illegal.
Now, every town counsel in America is in the real estate business and all private property is "on the block" to be sold or even given to the highest bidder. This mentality is more in keeping with a TV style 'barbaric city' [e.g., as in "Hercules"] than with the USA.

According to:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-09-28-justices-property_x.htm

And prior to Kelo,

"The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that New London had a valid public use to justify eminent domain.."

The term "public use" is language from the 5th Amendment. -And prior to Kelo how could they justify departing from the traditional interpretation of 'public use'..?
------------------------------------

Under CT state Supreme Court precedent ...cities and towns in that state exist as "creatures of the state", entirely under delegated authority, and do not have a fully autonomous legal existence as they do in some states.
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RH: "fully autonomous legal existence" Does this mean that they can ignore the Constitution and the 5th Amendment..?
----------------------------------------------
Under 10th Amendment separation of powers, such distinctions as to whether there is local autonomy within states, or not, or statutory areas of jurisdiction and lack thereof, are state's rights and not Federal issues.
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RH: Does this mean that they can ignore the Constitution and the 5th Amendment..?
-------------------
The issue of whether property seizure for third party private commercial purposes is legitimate remains highly suspect.
-------------------
RH: Not since Kelo.
------------------

The entire issue of private property... Much of the land so defined was seized by genocidal campaigns... The history of private property ... is a variant of taxes as a form of rent to a feudal barony sovereign,...
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RH: Sovereignty by right of conquest is a matter of fact.. -The United States originated in an act of sedition. All property belongs to one sovereign or another and is parceled out and granted by them in perpetuity to individual persons or entities to do with as they wish regarding transfer of title. The relationship between between grantor and grantee is a sacred trust. A grant is not a loan pending improved commercial investment opportunity, although it may be rescinded entirely [with just compesation] if the grantor [the sovereign] requires it for actual use.
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Absent that kind of public opposition, ...it's possible that it might take some rather severe and obnoxious tactics to cause similar politicians in other jurisdictions to think twice before abusing emminent domain. It's not that difficult to ..., or infiltrate an aquifer with mercuric chloride or more severe toxins, ... One incident that destroys a 3000 acre area of homes and businesses would be a high cost for failure to prevent political abuses for economic profit, ... And, one person with less means than the average impacted homeowner could cause that degree of damage.
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RH: You seem to be advocating terrorism as a solution ... Count me OUT!!
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Kelo appears to be bad law, but it only comes up if politicians abuse homeowners.
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RH: It doesn't appear to be.. -IT IS!! -and "It only comes up if..." is a foolish and insensitive attitude.

What is needed is not violence but a grassroots Political Action Campaign to uproot that attitude and create public awareness that this is not "just another 'bad' Supreme Court decision". It is a FUNDAMENTAL issue testing, you might say, "whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."
9 years ago

It appears the fact that Connecticut is an odd state in its relationship of local and state government still isn't clear.

That could be an important detail, as it might give Kelo different de facto meaning and legal process, depending on the state.

Most states either define in explicit statute state preemption on some issues and local autonomy as default otherwise, or delegation for local government to be acting on state authority exclusively. That spells out via statute what authority localities may possess, and when they act as state agents, or not. If it's valid interpretation that only states may execute eminent domain seizures, in states with local autonomy, cities would require state legislation to use that legal process.

In CT, local governments operate with delegated authority, and in effect are operating as the state government over such issues as a sovereign. It's an unusual arrangement that's not widely recognized, as it's based on a major city police Chief trying to enforce a city policy to deny business licenses to firearms dealers, and the state's top court ruling that they lack authority to create such local policies at odds with state law. However, like many quirky legal opinions, that one became a far broader case in that it defined police, zoning, environment, and other local departments, boards, inspectors, etc., to be acting as state agents and municipal corporations to be state subdivisions, not autonomous authorities, without statutory definitions about such details.

So, CT law requires understanding an obscure firearms business license precedent to understand how Kelo potentially has different meaning in similar states than in local autonomy ones. If, in fact, the view that only a state meets the legal definition of sovereign in this context is accurate.

As to the ecoterrorism options, I've done work that required convincing small businesses with legal (40 CFR compliant) components with PCB content to replace working components in order to eliminate the risks from accidental conversion to dioxin, such as in a potential equipment or building fire. I'm familiar with differences among current and former disposal systems among larger utilities, GE, Aptus, and a rather reckless allegedly organized crime run Chemical Waste Management (which has caused some weird HazMat issues, and is structured to lay off and confuse liability among many corporate entities). I know how easy it would be to intentionally cause problems some companies cause by costly accidents of far smaller scale than what it possible. I'm suggesting how bad an idea it is to leave people legitimately feeling they were screwed, by multiple levels of government and courts, such that someone might stumble upon very real and practical options to let others directly and indirectly responsible share in liability for that injustice, beyond their wildest dreams. Like it or not, that's a very real and practical option, which would be top of national news and front page of trades, and result in a far stronger reminder to lawyers and corporations decades into the future that it's not always a good idea to twist law to screw people.

Sometimes technology, even in simple forms, trumps lawyer games, if anyone is motivated enough to prove it. That can be a good thing as well, as sometimes the design of networks, databases, or other systems can do more to protect security or privacy than silly laws saying people aren't allowed to do things, which are far more effectively prevented by engineering than law, or in machines regarding safety.

As to my "appears to be (bad case law)" comment, SCOTUS isn't exempt from minor or major screw ups.  It's rare, but not that rare, for Justices to comment in subsequent cases suggesting issues of precedents in which they opine the court erred, and perhaps should revisit.  Other cases have major defects which are technical, or due to serious prejudices by political appointees, or due to poor case records (often a reason for denial of Cert for otherwise important cases, but not always). 

Ever read Souter's concurrence with law, dissent to fact, in Erie v Pap's?  What does that say about that case, Barnes v Glen Theatre, and most related religious bias in related cases masked by money as if that exempts 1st Am. compliance?  Why is Roe v Wade not based on the moment of birth?  What exactly is a "reasonable expectation of privacy"?  How is it possible for "indecency" to even exist as a neutral legal concept, while "pornography" is void for vagueness (FCC v Pacifica, & Jacobellis v OH)?  Tax and firearm cases get even messier.  Can Latches doctrine excuse or legitimatize fraud in ratification of a Constitutional amendment?  What is the status of Free Exercise re: Smith v OR Emp div, or any civil rights protections re: Boerne v Flores?  How can common "harm to minors" interpretations be implemented consistant with Cohen v CA or Hess v IN?  How is Miller v CA able to deliver equal protections if speech or action rights change if one moves or travels on vacation or business?  Hmmmm.....  (those are just off the top of my head, without peaking in the library, and skip several more I could add, one biggie I wonder if anyone else mentions....) 

Re Thursday, 7:54 PM
9 years ago
Re Thursday, 7:54 PM

Item: The circumstances regarding the state of Connecticut are irrelevant. We are concerned here with the effect of the Kelo decision and the reinterpretation of the 5th Amendment on the nation as a whole.

Item: Much of what you have to say is worthy of consideration but in any complex endeavor a good rule of thumb is the KISS principle.

Roe vs Wade for example is a worthy topic but not a fundamental issue in the sense that Kelo is.
To fill a page Here with that and other such is little more than distraction. Please keep 'On Topic'.

Item: Perhaps it would be a good idea to review the concept of Sovereignty.

One aspect to keep in mind is that the Sovereign is the absolute and primary owner of all property due simply to the fact that It is the entity with the power to defend it whether by the Armed forces of the nation or the National guard of a State.
I have never heard the term "Sovereign City" or even "Sovereign County", [although it is true that "Most of what is now West Virginia as well as all of Kentucky were
formed from Augusta County VA, [which] also claimed the territory north and west of those areas, theoretically all the way to the Pacific Ocean."]

ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_County,_Virginia

For further information on the concept of Sovereignty see:
                                                                                     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty
 
                                                                                     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Sovereignty

Item: And please, don't waste our time with your views on the efficacy of violence.
A useful URL
9 years ago

THE COMPLETE LIST OF E-MAIL ADDRESSES & FAX NUMBERS FOR CONGRESS, SENATE & GOVERNORS

http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm
H.R. 4128 and action link
9 years ago


Old News, Good, ...-But not good enough!

H.R. 4128 - cuts off federal funding of Em. Dom. abuse, but doesn't stop it.

Taken from: http://www.townhall.com/action/view.html?actid=20

Top Action Items :: Support Property Rights: Call Your Representative

In early November, the U.S. House considered H.R. 4128, the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005. The bill will curb eminent domain abuse and private property takings - cutting off federal funding for government projects that use eminent domain for private development. The bill is a response to the Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London which opened the floodgates for state and local governments to take private property for private use through eminent domain.

Thank you for calling your member of Congress and expressing your support for property rights. The bill passed 376 to 38 !

For more information on eminent domain abuse and the Hands Off My Home campaign (a service of the Castle Coalition and Institute for Justice), visit:

http://www.townhall.com/phrd.html?loc=http://www.castlecoalition.org.

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Many States have passed or introduced legislation to counter the effects of the
Kelo Decision; and several have not!

This type of stop-gap legislation varies from state to state and usually provides
loopholes. [i.e., -Always watch out for the "small print" ;-]

I don't believe that Eminent Domain abuse legislation short of a Constitutional
Amendment will ever make our properties truly safe. What is needed is an
Amendment providing a satisfactory definition of the traditional understanding
of what was intended by the 5th Amendment term "Public Use".

-Any discussion on what that definition ought to be..?

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Here's another "Action" URL:

http://www.townhall.com/action/write_media.html

Enter Zip Code, get a list of local & surrounding:

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Something you can do
9 years ago

Join a Yahoo EDA Group: Here are 18* Eminent Domain Abuse E-Groups you might want to peruse/or even  join.

http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=eminent%20domain [*]

[*]18
- less than 18 actually since some include eminent domain abuse but are largely focused on other issues, some are frivolous, and some are what you might call "strange", -or "fringe" groups :-]...

.
9 years ago

Are not the People the Sovereign, the government merely acting as agent, through election {democracy} of representatives {republic} by filter {law} {Constitution}?
We, the people...
9 years ago

Are not the People the Sovereign, the government merely acting as agent, through election {democracy} of representatives {republic} by filter {law} {Constitution}?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes!
-and that is my main point as expressed in my initial "Social Contract" quote. The role of 'agent' authorizes local governments to act on the Sovereign's behalf, presumably in accordance with the Law, in this case the 5th Amendment.

In recent years there have been increasing instances of local governments arrogating to themselves the power of the Sovereign. They have condemned and subsequently granted [sold, e.g., for $1.00] properties which they did not own, since those properties properly revert back to the Sovereign for 'its' use, not theirs.

This practice has become so common that the Supreme Court has decided to condone it rather than take or assign responsibility for not having corrected it. This pernicious act has been termed Constitutional "evolution". [I call it spineless "gutting"in the cause of venality.]

Rousseau's warning that "the social union will disappear and the body politic will be dissolved." will not likely be fulfilled by revolutionary action, but as it becomes clear that our country has now become a Plutocracy, giving local governments license to conduct Real Estate Business frequently by their own finagled rules and for their own profit ... -Well, let's hope that the Nation's political conscience will be roused before it's too late.

RKH

P.S. I happened to catch a segment on CNN in which House members were being asked whether they opposed or supported the Kelo decision. Some said they opposed the decision but would support it "out of respect for the Supreme Court".

One said he opposed it but feared opposition would set a bad precedent...-"you can't go around overturning every decision you don't like".

-Incredible !! -Where is their respect for and responsibility to the American People*..?

-and, ... -Why do they fail to appreciate the significance of this issue..?
.
9 years ago
Weaseling hypocrisy of our elected Representatives..........
9 years ago
Where is the petition for this? 
Re The Petition
9 years ago

Aha!! -Good question!

As I mentioned once before I posted here out of ignorance believing this to be an
adjunct discussion group.

Also, as I said, I have niether the time nor the energy to sponsor a petition. In fact
I am mainly here to get involved just enough to hide from and avoid all that has followed my wife's recent death.

Your point is well taken, there really Should be a Petition, tho I have only written on
the idea of gathering support and information for some kind of Political action Group.

I suppose a petition should be written to be delivered to our Congressmen explaining the serious consequences of Kelo which is far more than "just another decision we don't like" [see my previous post] and demanding that Kelo be revisited and overturned.
.
More than Petitions
9 years ago

If you are interested in taking action take a look at these:

http://www.e-advocates.com/buildcampaign.pdf

http://capitoladvantage.com/what-we-do.html

.
9 years ago

By owning our once ''Free Press'', and controlling the information we are given to argue about, OUR Time, Labor, and Life is being directed and used, by those who print the money, and who set both the prices and the wages, to funnel our labor and our money directly to the Corporate Military Dictatorship... bypassing OUR Government, and OUR laws.

This is Communism.

Re 'Free Press'
9 years ago

What has this to do with Kelo and the 5th amendment , or 'Our evolving constitution'? Complaints about our current government are endless..

-Why is that? hmm..

Your comment, valid though it may be belongs elsewhere.

P.S. You shouldn't apply terms like "Communism" simply to connote anything you don't like. [Tho soc/com does seem applicable to the capricious seizure of private property by local government.] In your case, Totalitarianism might be a more apt and generic term. If you must contribute O.T. spam, why not something more specific such as:

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1/16/133331/558

[My apologies, -just making a point.]
.
9 years ago

To SEE, THINK and KNOW requires ACCESS to TRUTH.

You will not have representation in Washington without Truthful information.

You will speak the language, salute the flag and worship the stone that you are TOLD TO.

Without Truth, you have no choice but to FOLLOW the propaganda presented to you by the owners of the People.

9 years ago

''Communism'' is when a FEW heads, occupying a Capitol city, control the distribution of information, control the distribution of prices and wages to keep the population laboring in their factories and select, fund and present the candidates of THIER CHOICE, on their media to give a population the illusion that they choose the ''Left'' and ''Right'' chambers of our state and federal government.

Viewing History, and knowing that power corrupts, our founding fathers created the Supreme Court to prevent the corruption of government by enforcing OUR LAWS EQUALLY upon our leaders as upon our citizens.

Today, the owners of the political parties choose both the politicians AND the Judges.

Evolution continues to reveal that Power Corrupts.

Re Communism
9 years ago

''Communism'' is when a FEW heads, occupying a Capitol city,...

-------------------------------------------------------

I see now that you are speaking tongue-in-cheek since our own "Corpocracy" in time will doubtless meet your criteria for "communism" even though it is purely capitalistic. Nothing new of course as you might recall that the "National Socialist" party in Germany came to be known as the "Nazi" party and had absolutely nothing to do with the concept of Socialism. And of course you know that there has never been a truly communist country since in those countries that have tried it, it has always been co-opted by those "Few heads" who turned it to their own [totalitariam] puposes.


[Don't know why exactly but I am reminded of a TV news item in which an East German woman was being interviewed shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall. She insisted that she remained a devout communist despite the fact that everyone knew that the ideal communist state was at least 50 years into the future. [We americans are so short sighted ;-]

Uff! ,-Now you've got me doing it. -Please, let's stay on topic!!
.

Federal vs State action
9 years ago

I. The Kelo Decision is far more important than even its opponents seem to realize since it constitutes a pernicious breaking of the "Social Contract" which is held to be perhaps The Primary, and most sacred trust between government and the governed.

In 1793 Jean Jacques Rousseau warned that:

"Government .. is wrongly confused with the sovereign, whose agent it is...

-If the time should ever come when the [government] has a particular will of its own stronger than that of the sovereign and makes use of the public power which is in its hands to carry out its own particular will -when there are thus two sovereigns, one in law and one in fact- at that moment the social union will disappear and the body politic will be dissolved."

II. The purpose of the Vth Amendment is to protect the private citizen from the rich and powerful.

The Kelo Decision not only abrogates that function of the final clause of the Vth Amendment, it specifically acts to reverse it, placing the private citizen at the mercy of the rich and powerful.

III. State by state reaction to the Kelo decision is inadequate.

These documents by their number and complexity are a waste of human resouces and prone to "loopholes" which negate their purpose.

IV. Our goal must be simple and twofold:

1. To have Kelo revisited and overturned.

2. To amend the 5th amendment [or the Constitution] with a statement
defining the expression "Public Use" in its original, traditional sense:

a. Such that it be made clear that "Public" equates to the Sovereign State
(or Nation) as a whole and not to self-selected portions thereof.

b. Such that "Use" shall be restricted to actual and physical use by the
sovereign and not defined as "any conceivable benefit* to a self-
selected portion of the populace".

c. Such that only public service properties whose functions are not the proper
role of government, e.g., utilities, transportation, etc. be transferred into
the hands of properly regulated private entities.

d. Such that monetary benefit [e.g., taxes] and special privilege [e.g., jobs]
be specifically ruled out as inviting venality and graft by public officials.

[*] From Justice Kennedy's assenting statement:

“rationally related to a conceivable public purpose.”

[This notion is creative, but philosophically wrong-headed.]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:
State by state legislation would be useful however in preventing new,
arbitrarily finagled local definitions of "Blight" and "Nuisance".

[ Note: -no compensation is required when condemning "Nuisance" properties.]
.
A Problem and a Tool
9 years ago

Problem:
Many, if not most Americans are not Homeowners; for some home is simply the temporary shelter where one hangs his hat. For an unfortunate few "Home is where.. -when you have to go there, they have to let you in".
Hopefully, in time, most of these will achieve the American dream of owning their own home.
In the meantime, how do you reach them to convince them of the importance of Political Action, -specifically of the need to overturn the Kelo Decision and re-establish the original, traditional meaning of the term, "Public Use".

Something to ponder.. -Any suggestions...?

But here is a URL to consider; -not the answer but certainly useful.

http://democracydata.com/stratsolutions-pacdevelopment.asp
.
Roll with It
9 years ago
Question: "What [am I] going to do about it?"
Answer: Probably nothing, until someone confronts me with an accusation. Then it's, "I am right; doing this was right; and your accusation is wrong! I AM YOUR KING!
9 years ago

The Deregulated Military Manufacturers are setting the prices and making record profits by collecting money directly from the people, bypassing what little remains of your government, by-passing the IRS, by-passing government grants and your governments control of of how they use your time, your labor, your, money, your country and your life.

Deregulated, they use your wealth, to buy the nation's media, both political parties, and all the candidates you see on their tv.

If obedient to them, then you will be permitted to own, and to live, on the ground upon which you were born.

Another weapon against E.D.A.
9 years ago
Another weapon against E.D.A.

Urge your local banks to join BB&T in withholding funds from Eminent Domain Abusers by passing on the following:

This from:

http://www.freestarmedia.com/

Bank Refuses to Lend Money to Eminent Domain Abusers

Arlington, Va.-BB&T, the nation’s ninth largest financial holdings company with $109.2 billion in assets, announced today that it “will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build condominiums, shopping malls and other private projects on land taken from private citizens by government entities using eminent domain.”

In a press release issued today by the bank, BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Allison, said, “The idea that a citizen’s property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it’s just plain wrong. One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own. As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we won’t help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.”
.

Federal vs State action
9 years ago

An example of the need for E.D.A. reform at the Federal rather than
the State level

See:

http://tinyurl.com/aomxf

-or,

Latest News on our petition progress...
General Assembly waters down Eminent Domain reform
http://www.virginiapropertyrights.org/upload/158/files/20060206_GeneralAssembly.pdf
------------------------------------
Info@VirginiaPropertyRights.org
Re BB&T
9 years ago

Spread the word to your local banks !

http://www.ij.org/editorial/2ndbank-not-to-fund-ED.html

This needs to spread nationwide. Work for it !

.
A good Idea -Something You Can Do
9 years ago

Something you can do with [windshield flyers - door to door, etc,..]

Ask citizens to boycott any private business resulting from Eminent Domain Abuse.

-An example from New London:

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?g67rta99&1


Here's what we need a sponsor for on this site:

-In the meantime, -Sign This:

http://www.petitiononline.com/5amend/petition.html

Recent useful information
9 years ago
Try this:
            https://action.popuvox.com/default.aspx?actionID=214
Hello
9 years ago
A little earlier I did some research on the Bill of Rights and Constitution in ref. to a Petition I signed about yet another State's attack on our "liberty". Liberty is defined as being free to act, choose, believe. The Union was formed to "secure" among other things, Liberty. It seems most people are simple to lead into signing away civil liberties, not realizing we are fast becoming anything but a democracy. Eminent domain was used to build a sports stadium (Texas, I think, or Arizonia). There were way too many posts on this discussion for me to follow all of it. Has anyone here created a petition?
A good URL, and an upcoming Kelo Anniversary Rally
9 years ago
First, a good site with lots of URLs
-Also some interesting
Early American History:

http://redevelopment.com/index.html

and

A note I received from

Christina Walsh
Assistant Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA  22203
(703) 682-9320
www.ij.org
www.castlecoalition.org

Friends:

Friday, June 23, 2006, marks the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London.  While it served a devastating blow to the rights of property owners nationwide, this universally-reviled decision has served more as a beginning than an end.  Since June 23, 2005, every state that has been in session has introduced legislation to curb the unconstitutional and immoral takings the Kelo decision permits. 18 states have enacted legislation to provide some increased form of defense against eminent domain abuse to property owners, and four other bills are awaiting governors' signatures - even in the face of vigorous opposition from the beneficiaries of this abuse of power.  Activists across the country are standing-up for their homes, small businesses and churches - demanding protection of a most fundamental right.  And Susette Kelo still lives in her little pink house alongside her neighbors, waiting resolutely for a decision to be made on what will become of her dream home and fighting day-by-day to stay.

The Castle Coalition is organizing rallies, vigils and other events nationwide around the time of the anniversary of the Kelo decision - Friday, June 23 - to show that the battle between tax-hungry governments and land-hungry developers and property owners is more intense than ever.  If you are interested in organizing a rally or vigil in your community, please contact me as soon as possible.  We can provide you with materials and organizational advice and alert our members to your event. We will also include your rally or vigil on a nationwide press release we will send out alerting the media to the events occurring nationwide.  Closer to the anniversary, we will send you talking points, a sample letter to the editor and a draft press release to aid you in your efforts. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight your local battle and emphasize its connection to the movement to stop eminent domain abuse that is sweeping the nation.  And don't worry if you don't think you can attract a large crowd; the most important thing is to hold some sort of event to show that citizens nationwide stand together against eminent domain abuse.

We will help you every step of the way.  Please don't pass up this opportunity to take a historic and momentous stand against eminent domain abuse!  Let me know if you have any questions and if you're interested in organizing an event, please let me know by no later than Tuesday, May 23, so we can get the planning process started. 

Thanks!

Christina Walsh

Latest Activities
9 years ago


Halper Campout this weekend Sat. thru Mon:

http://www.freestarmedia.com/halper.html


Lost Liberty Airport:

http://www.freestarmedia.com/
9 years ago
The constitution has always been a living and evolving work. The founding fathers designed it to be so, and it has to be so, or it would be an instrument of tyrrany, not democracy. The supreme court, as intrepreters of the constitution are human and fallible, and corruptible, and that is why we must be very careful who we elect to be president, because he appoints them for life...
Anonymous
Hello Archie L,
9 years ago

You neglected to mention, for those appointed for life, there is a tide of restlessness.  If not stress, to those who succumb to the wrath of those cut from the cloth of guitar playing activists, eh?  Damn, I love America!

Got that spork ready?  LoL!

Evolution
9 years ago
Re "A living, evolving work"

Archie,
I do not necessarily disagree with your thesis, but the
inevitable evolution to which you refer cannot, and must
not be equated with the perverse, inverted interpretation of
"Public Use" that Kelo has given us. Under the presumed
if unstated principle of "Stare Decisis" past abuses are now
condoned and a sacred trust has been cast aside in favor of
venality and of the Corporatocracy which is destroying our
country.

If there is to be evolution it should be in the form of an
appended definition of "Public Use" in accordance with its
traditional meaning.
News to be acted upon
9 years ago

{ Note: -This Bill, H.R. 4128, is only a 'stop-gap' measure viv a vis the actual
   overturn of KELO -but please support it.} -RKH

Friends:

CONGRESS HAS ONLY 24 DAYS LEFT TO PASS EMINENT DOMAIN REFORM! Over ten months ago, the House passed H.R. 4128, the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005, by an overwhelming majority of 376-38. This bill would discourage eminent domain abuse by withholding federal economic development funds for two years from local governments that condemn private property for private commercial development. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that private property can be seized through eminent domain on the mere promise of increased tax revenue or jobs, every home, business, church and farm across the country is endangered - because anyone’s property could make more money as something bigger and newer. Federal protections are essential to curb the abuse of eminent domain, but this bill has been languishing in the Senate since last November!

It is critical that you CONTACT YOUR SENATORS NOW and URGE THEM TO PASS THE HOUSE VERSION OF EMINENT DOMAIN REFORM ! You can find their main phone numbers below. When you call, it's important that you request a written response from your senators. If you would like to call or visit their home state offices, you can find that information here: http://castlecoalition.org/legislation/senators.html. And although phone calls are more effective, if you'd rather send an email, you can do so through this link: https://action.popuvox.com/default.aspx?actionID=284.

After you call your senator, there are a number of other things you can do to make your voice heard:

- Write letters to the editor about eminent domain abuse and H.R. 4128
- Call radio talk shows and discuss the Senate’s lack of action to protect America’s home and small business owners
- Link to our countdown clock - which will countdown the amount of time Congress has left to pass reform - on your homepage or blog (you can do so by clicking here: http://castlecoalition.org/senatedeadline2006/)

- Sign-up your neighbors and friends for the Castle Coalition so they, too, can receive our legislative updates and join the fight against eminent domain abuse!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT! EMINENT DOMAIN REFORM WILL NOT PASS CONGRESS WITHOUT YOUR HELP. Contact your senators today!

Best,

Christina Walsh
Assistant Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320
www.ij.org
www.castlecoalition.org

PHONE NUMBERS

ALASKA
Murkowski, Lisa (R - AK): (202) 224-6665
Stevens, Ted (R - AK): (202) 224-3004

ALABAMA
Sessions, Jeff (R - AL): (202) 224-4124
Shelby, Richard C. (R - AL): (202) 224-5744

ARKANSAS
Lincoln, Blanche L. (D - AR): (202) 224-4843
Pryor, Mark L. (D - AR): (202) 224-2353

ARIZONA
Kyl, Jon (R - AZ): (202) 224-4521
McCain, John (R - AZ): (202) 224-2235

CALIFORNIA
Boxer, Barbara (D - CA): (202) 224-3553
Feinstein, Dianne (D - CA): (202) 224-3841

COLORADO
Allard, Wayne (R - CO): (202) 224-5941
Salazar, Ken (D - CO): (202) 224-5852

CONNECTICUT
Dodd, Christopher J. (D - CT): (202) 224-2823
Lieberman, Joseph I. (D - CT): (202) 224-4041

DELAWARE
Biden, Joseph R., Jr. (D - DE): (202) 224-5042
Carper, Thomas R. (D - DE): (202) 224-2441

FLORIDA
Martinez, Mel (R - FL): (202) 224-3041
Nelson, Bill (D - FL): (202) 224-5274

GEORGIA
Chambliss, Saxby (R - GA): (202) 224-3521
Isakson, Johnny (R - GA): (202) 224-3643

HAWAII
Akaka, Daniel K. (D - HI): (202) 224-6361
Inouye, Daniel K. (D - HI): (202) 224-3934

IOWA
Grassley, Chuck (R - IA): (202) 224-3744
Harkin, Tom (D - IA): (202) 224-3254

IDAHO
Craig, Larry E. (R - ID): (202) 224-2752
Crapo, Mike (R - ID): (202) 224-6142

ILLINOIS
Durbin, Richard (D - IL): (202) 224-2152
Obama, Barack (D - IL): (202) 224-2854

INDIANA
Bayh, Evan (D - IN): (202) 224-5623
Lugar, Richard G. (R - IN): (202) 224-4814

KANSAS
Brownback, Sam (R - K: (202) 224-6521
Roberts, Pat (R - K: (202) 224-4774

KENTUCKY
Bunning, Jim (R - KY): (202) 224-4343
McConnell, Mitch (R - KY): (202) 224-2541

LOUISIANA
Landrieu, Mary L. (D - LA): (202) 224-5824
Vitter, David (R - LA): (202) 224-4623

MASSACHUSETTS
Kennedy, Edward M. (D - MA): (202) 224-4543
Kerry, John F. (D - MA): (202) 224-2742

MARYLAND
Mikulski, Barbara A. (D - MD): (202) 224-4654
Sarbanes, Paul S. (D - MD): (202) 224-4524

MAINE
Collins, Susan M. (R - ME): (202) 224-2523
Snowe, Olympia J. (R - ME): (202) 224-5344

MICHIGAN
Levin, Carl (D - MI): (202) 224-6221
Stabenow, Debbie (D - MI): (202) 224-4822

MINNESOTA
Coleman, Norm (R - MN): (202) 224-5641
Dayton, Mark (D - MN): (202) 224-3244

====
This message has been "trimmed", of excess
characters by Care2, but the
remainder can be had from me or,

Christina Walsh
Assistant Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320

15 days left
8 years ago
Christina Walsh[see previous post] tells us that:

 Last week, Senator James Inhofe introduced S. 3873, the "Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2006 ." This bill is identical to the House of Representatives' terrific eminent domain reform bill, H.R. 4128, which has been stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee since it passed the House last November by an overwhelming majority of 376-38. S. 3873 - which is now the vehicle for eminent domain reform in Congress - will go straight to the floor of the Senate, bypassing the hold-ups other eminent domain bills are encountering in the Senate. However, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will not put eminent domain reform on the Senate's agenda , effectively prohibiting the Senate from voting on this bill!

There are only 15 DAYS LEFT before the Senate adjourns. It is more important than ever that you make your voices heard. Call Senator Frist NOW and ask him to put S. 3873, federal eminent domain reform, on the Senate's agenda and allow a vote . Explain that the American people are strongly opposed to the abuse of eminent domain, both politically and morally - and this opposition will only continue to grow. Then contact your own two senators and urge them to support S. 3873. You can find their phone numbers at the end of this e-mail. If you have the time, we also encourage you to send an e-mail to Frist and your senators by clicking [or copy/paste] the following link: https://action.popuvox.com/default.aspx?actionID=286.
Hello
8 years ago

The flashing image posted by member Thomas P. was deleted due to the potential to cause epileptic seizures in some members.

Thanks!

- PetitionSite Center Host

8 years ago

In 275 years, the meaning of words has gradually been changed.

For Example, the word HONOR doesn't mean what it once did.

Honor LOST

Call Frist Now re S. 3873 Also, $reward for EDA info.
8 years ago

September 21, 2006

A letter sent to me by Logan Darrow Clements:

{edited for length}

# 8 DAYS TO SQUASH EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE
# EMINENT DOMAIN MOVIE- $500 REWARD

8 DAYS TO SQUASH EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE
Senator Bill Frist

Logan Darrow Clements here asking you to call Senator Frist RIGHT NOW and ask him to put S. 3873, federal eminent domain reform, on the Senate's agenda and allow a vote. This bill would cut off federal funds to state and local governments that abuse eminent domain.
If he doesn't put it on the agenda it will die automatically in 8 days when Congress ends its current session on September 29.

Here are the phone numbers for Senator Frist. If the Washington number is busy try another office until you get through
(I got through the Washington number after about 5 tries): Washington, DC 202-224-3344

Nashville, TN 615-352-9411

Chattanooga, TN 423-756-2757

Jackson, TN 731-424-9655

Kingsport, TN 423-323-1252

Knoxville, TN 865-637-4180

Memphis, TN 901-683-1910

Please pass this e-mail on to friends who care about property rights and
be sure to post it on relevant blogs.

More information about this legislation and how to contact your Senator is available through the Castle Coalition website page...
http://castlecoalition.org/senatedeadline2006
-----------------------------------------
EMINENT DOMAIN MOVIE- $500 REWARD
eminent domain movie

I'm seeking stories of people who lost their home to eminent domain and a shopping center or other private development now stands where their home used to be. I'm also seeking to tape a victim of eminent domain who plans on having police drag them out of their home or business on the last day rather than going voluntarily. Anyone who tips me off to a civil disobedience situation like this,
which results in Freestar capturing it on tape, will be rewarded with $500

Contact "logan@freestarmedia.com" and put "Eminent Domain Movie" in your subject line if you know of a good story for the movie.


$10 Army Keeps Freestar Fighting
solider

Freestar is trying to fight eminent domain abuse and make a feature length movie about it on very limited funds.

You can keep us fighting by joining the Ten Dollar Army.

FREE: song against EDA

FreestarMedia.com


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Another 3 million Acres to be taken from Private citizens
8 years ago

Another 3 million Acres to be taken from Private citizens


Too Bad to be true..?

-or,

Can you believe what you read on the 'net'.?

I understand that just 3 months BEFORE the Kelo Decision, plans were afoot
in Texas to take advantage of Eminent Domain by condemning more than 500,000 Acres of middle America -and in the process displace about 1,000,000 Americans from their property.

The plan, under the heading "[T]he 'NAFTA super highway', on which construction is planned to begin in '08. {!!}{?}...would bisect Texas from its border with Mexico on through to Kansas City {i.e., from Laredo thru San Antonio,-Austin,-Waco,-Ft. Worth, -Oklahoma city, and Wichita; -thence} It will travel on to Kansas City where an "inland port" is now in the final planning stages.

Plans call for a ten lane, limited access highway to parallel I-35 It would have
three lanes each way for passenger cars, two express lanes each way for trucks, rail lines both ways for people and freight, plus a utility corridor for oil and natural gas pipelines, electric towers, cables for communications and telephone lines.

{including space for incidental services, this corridor will constitute a swath nearly 1/4 mile wide.}

The highway will require the taking of more than 500,000 acres of private land and is
estimated to displace about a million Americans from their property.

Eminent Domain will be the tool of choice for the massive land grab –now made easier
by last year’s {'05} Supreme Court ruling in the Kelo case...."

Note: {And this is only one of several "corridors" being planned.}*

http://www.augustreview.com/content/view/16/5/
----------------------------------------------------------------------

For an even More alarming site, Try:

http://infowars.com/articles/nwo/internationalizing_us_roads.htm

{But don't worry, -the project is expected to take about 50 yrs, so it will mainly affect only our children and grandchildren who will just have to fend for themselves, right; -if that is still an apt phrase after National IDs [due in May of '08] {?} and mandatory implanted GPS-linked RFIDs make it possible for 'the Beast' to just "zap" and/or
cause anyone who tries to just "disappear"}

Oh, sorry, that last is just "Conspiracy Theory" propaganda...-don't worry about it.

Ref. The REAL ID Act[H.R.418.RFS]

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-5702505.html
http://www.rinf.com/columnists/news/us-national-id-cards-by-may-2008

Also: http://www.unrealid.com/what.html

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Another plan will follow Route 83 from Alberta Canada to Laredo.
* Another will begin in New England.

See:
http://www.cnatca.org/cnatca_map.htm
And:
http://www.cnatca.org

==========================================

Item #2: 26 November 2006

[T]he Army wants to take [2.5] million of acres away from ranching families
in order to create the largest live-fire zone in the entire world... swallowing up
the entire southeastern corner of the state of Colorado, all the way to the
Kansas and Oklahoma borders. .

http://www.mail-archive.com/waake-up@lists.colorado.edu/msg00028.html

...Sigh...
Good Report
8 years ago
   
http://www.aim.org/aim_report/5102_0_4_0/

An in depth review pertaining to the previous
several entries
Going to Washington
8 years ago

-Seen on another site:

"On Tuesday, March 20, thousands of concerned citizens will gather at the U.S. Capitol to tell Congress to tackle global warming head-on.."

Of course Global Warming is a serious and worthy issue; however, I suspect that Congress is fully aware of this by now.

What bothers me is... -If "Thousands of Concerned Citizens" will rally to this cause, why not a Million Man March on Washington to protest the Kelo Decision and demand that it be revisited and overturned!

Remember that until this is done every property in America might just as well have a perpetual sign up reading " This Property for Sale, -No reasonable offer refused. -Consult City Hall for best price."

Remember that even though you may not now have a valuable, vulnerable property or location, Someday, you or your children or grandchildren just might; -and they just might lose it for a niggardly governmentally determined compensation because you, your friends and neighbors failed to act!!

Tens of thousands have been and continue to be affected by Eminent Domain Abuse. If the 'Colorado Land Grab' and the NAFTA Superhighway are approved, some two million more properties will be lost.

An inexorable pattern has been set in motion which, in time, will move All property upward, out of the hands of the lower and middle classes and into the hands of the Government and the Upper classes.

Yes, America will become visibly* more streamlined, richer and more beautiful.. -But, at what cost..?


[*] Invisibly, it will become more ghetto-ized, and more 1984-ish to accomodate the growing, and increasingly dispossessed population of working poor.

P.S. If you are going to Washington on the 20th, why not take some anti-Kelo posters along..??
.
Losing our property to "Save the Environmen"
8 years ago
8 years ago
Here's the Petition. Thank you Jason Bartlett Americans Unite for the Preservation of Constitutional Rights Have a great day! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/474668800

This post was modified from its original form on 17 Apr, 3:24
2nd Anniversary and News Item
8 years ago

This Saturday, June 23, 2007, marks the second anniversary of the Kelo ruling.

Here are some excerpts of interest from a recent Article sent by:

Christina Walsh
Castle Coalition Coordinator

June 19, 2007

Arlington, Va.-Kick out the poor, bring in the rich.

Those are the goals of a bogus “blight” declaration
that National City, Calif., is expected to move forward tonight. In renewing a declaration that two-thirds of National City (a predominantly Hispanic San Diego suburb) is “blighted,” the city government’s goal is not to remove blight, but rather to remove the poor and minorities who have managed to purchase property, and replace them with the rich and politically powerful.

“We’re going to fight the city’s outrageous plan to take away our gym so a developer can build condos for rich people,” said Victor Nuñez, vice president of the CYAC and a San Diego County Deputy District Attorney.

“We’re doing what we teach our kids to do; we’re standing up for what is right.”

“With its bogus blight designation, National City is laying the groundwork to destroy flourishing small businesses, churches and service organizations like the CYAC,” warned Jeff Rowes, a staff attorney with the Institute for Justice. “Each of these pieces of property may not be put to its so-called ‘highest economic use,’ but each provides the owner with the opportunity for a better life. If that property is taken, only to be handed over to someone else with more wealth and political influence, these industrious but poor individuals will lose their American Dream.”

What is happening in National City is part of a nationwide trend of eminent domain abuse where the vulnerable are victimized. In a study ...analyzing U.S. Census data, the Institute for Justice documented that eminent domain abuse disproportionately takes land from the poor, less-educated and minorities across the nation. The study,... vindicates the warning of former U.S. Supreme. Ct. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who wrote in her dissent in the infamous Kelo case that eminent domain would be used “to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more.”

[The study]found that 58 percent of those targeted with the threat of eminent domain were minority residents and their annual median income was less than $19,000. Moreover, people living in areas targeted for eminent domain for private development are significantly poorer and more likely to be minority than people elsewhere in their own cities. The report is available at:

http://www.ij.org/publications/other/demogr


For the complete Article:

Christina Walsh
Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320
www.ij.org
www.castlecoalition.org




Practical Anti-EDA strategies
8 years ago
http://www.ij.org/freedommarket/scripts/product.asp?prodID=51


[How] to successfully fight illegitimate land-grabs.  [P]ractical strategies to protect your property outside of the courtroom,

Eminent Domain "Survival Guide" DVD [$3.95 ]

Also [included], -a 1 hour DVD featuring real world success stories of home and small business owners combined with practical advice for anyone beginning their grassroots battle.
Keep up to date
8 years ago
Keep up to date with Eminent Domain Abuse. Join the Castle Coalition.
[ its free !]

You will get:

*CastleWatch Month in Review
– a monthly wrap-up of our on-line publication
* Legislative action alerts
* Invitations to free Castle Coalition training conferences
* Access to exclusive content

http://www.castlecoalition.org/join/
.
What we can do.
8 years ago

Check out this site and promote it.

Sponsor or find someone willing to sponsor a Ron Paul Meetup group.

http://ronpaul.meetup.com/create/

Ron Paul on Kelo

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul-arch.html
The Supremes
7 years ago

Here's some 'Old News' [Jan '07] but if you haven't seen it you need to know more about what Kelo 'hath wrought'.

My title: "The Supreme Court Condones Extortion"

http://www.ij.org/private_property/didden/1_16_07pr.html
.
Technically this is not "abuse" but...
7 years ago

Technically this is not "abuse" but... -Well, really it IS since:

-Some 5,307 square miles of property is slated to be transferred out of the hands of more than 1,000,000 ordinary U.S. citizens without their consent; -and while the "people" are 'expected to benefit', well, ...

Our Sovereign Federal Gov't means to apply Eminent Domain in a [now, after Kelo]constitutional manner... -But that doesn't make it right, especially when ownerhip is to be transferred not to the Sovereign but to a private, foreign company. [Which under Kelo is now legal.]

http://www.freedom.org/naugreen2/player.htm

See especially items 15 thru 17

What can be done to keep it from happening..?


7 years ago


While I don't accept abuse of Eminent Domain, I do understand that when someone affects the environment, they are affecting other people as well as themselves.

To claim one can do virtually anything because it is their property does not ring true.

If it affects others, then it can come under the scrutiny of the eye.



 
Correction:
7 years ago
The URL in my previous post did not work since it lacked the
final "l". Sorry.

http://www.freedom.org/naugreen2/player.html
7 years ago
Crack Cocaine is a very serious problem in this country.
7 years ago
Crack Cocaine is a very serious problem in this world....
txs all x site    add them
EDA news -and other modes of property theft.
7 years ago
EDA News.. -plus Other forms of Property Theft.

[Paraphrased from a C.Coalition Newsletter]

Despite legislative reform in 42 states over the past two years,
the effects of the Kelo decision are still felt across the country
as local governments, large and small, seek to grab land from
their own citizens all for the sake of higher tax revenue.

Castle Coalition has created CastleWatch Daily, a blog dedicated
to the latest on eminent domain from across the country:

http://blog.castlecoalition.org/blog/.

Every day, they'll post recent stories and commentary about the latest abuses local & nationwide.

And if there's something they've missed or something you want to comment on, you can email them at: castlewatch@ij.org.

You can read an update on the situation [Kelo] that started it all:

http://blog.castlecoalition.org/blog/

Chris Grodecki
Castle Coalition
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (703) 682-9320
Fax: (703) 682-9321

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
P.S. Something to keep in mind..

[ Is This How the Nazis Did it to their own people..?]

Blatant Extortion condoned by SCOTUS:

http://www.ij.org/private_property/didden/1_16_07pr.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another type of property theft protected by the courts:

http://www.percyschmeiser.com/conflict.htm

The liability issue regarding Percy Schmeiser's fields will be addressed in a court date that has been set for January 23, 2008.

[So, there is still time to help fight Monsanto] $$ of course.

also: http://www.percyschmeiser.com/
-----------------------------------------------
See this and Google <Order 81>

 http://www.thepowerhour.com/news/iraqi_order81.htm

.

EDA news you will want to hear
7 years ago

These sites offer an interesting update to the EDA problem. Not a definitive solution but encouraging just the same.

<http://www.ij.org/publications/other/doomsday.html>

<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120165400238627033-email.html>
Faulty URL..?
7 years ago

The 1st URL in my previous message indicates that the site has 'moved' yet this identical[?] URL taken from the site itself seems to work.

http://www.ij.org/publications/other/doomsday.html
Same for the second URL
7 years ago

Try this:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120165400238627033-email.html

Apparently using <.....> was a mistake... -sorry.
Hello
7 years ago
Forgive me if I've missed it, but is there a petition for this topic, "Our 'evolving' Constitution"?  I've seen several links to many other sites, but I haven't seen one that relates to the opening of this thread.  in advance!


7 years ago

I tried to warn you, Robert.  Now they will probably delete this threasd and all your good information will be lost.

There are petitions, but I can't get a link to work.

You can find relevant petititions if you go to thepetitionsite and search for "eminent domain."  Will somebody please post a link before Care2 deletes this thread?

Thank you.

Hello Revlluliaq
7 years ago
We are not deleting threads unless absolutely necessary. If it is warranted, a thread will be closed, but otherwise, it is left alone.

Edited for misspelling your name.


This post was modified from its original form on 30 Jan, 11:57
URL you sent
7 years ago
Thank you!To God be all the Glory, Laura LopezReferring Travel Agentytbnet.com/josiahstravelSchoolAwareness.org - Sign the online Petition and make a difference. Evil prevails when good people sit back and do nothing. One person does make a difference. Give your life to Jesus Christ, his death on the cross is why you're alive. Jesus Christ said you must be born again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3-7). The phrase born again literally means born from above. Jesus Christ died for us so give your life to him, all you have to do is believe that he is the son of God, receive him into your life, confess that you have sinned against God - all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and repent of your sins - which means to turn your back on sin. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5 Receive Jesus Christ into your life so you can be with him in Heaven, if you don't receive him into your heart and life then you will go to Hell which is a lake of fire and you will be tortured all the time. Check out this website, it will explain it to you. wayofthemaster.comRead the Bible - It's God's word and it tells us what to do and we get to know God by reading it. _________________________________________________________________ Shed those extra pounds with MSN and The Biggest Loser! biggestloser.msn.com/
Re EDA Abuse Petition
7 years ago

PSCG & Revlluliaq:

Don't believe I have much to add to my post of:

1/12/06 4:46 PM .  -That being said...

Yes, a petition would be a good idea!! -Any volunteers....?

Sampling of Ideas to address:

1. Revisit, overturn Kelo.

2. Get to work on the 8 states that have not addressed the
problem.

3. Address the possibility of an Amendment to rectify Kelo at
the Federal level.

4. -and, in anticipation of that: -Work up an appropriate
definition of "Public Use" in line with our assumptions of
what was meant in the 5th Amendment. [This would make
an interesting topic in itself.]

As for this site, it has received so few "hits" that it has to be "re-activated" on a regular basis. I wonder if it is worthwhile...

I am not really a computer person, however I do have an edited version of what has been posted to date which I would be happy to post elsewhere. Suggestions...?




Current ED abuse in NJ-Opportunity to participate
7 years ago

This Sunday, March 2, is the next meeting of StopEDA, the New Jersey statewide coalition dedicated to fighting eminent domain abuse. Here are the details: StopEDA Meeting Sunday, March 2, 2008 10am - 4pm Frist Campus Center Princeton University Directions and parking instructions can be accessed here: http://www.princeton.edu/frist/location.shtml We encourage you to attend! Also check out their website and join: http://www.stopeda.org/. New Jersey continues to lead the country in eminent domain abuse. Below is information about three brewing situations. Atlantic City: ... Linden: ... Newton: ... For details on these: Christina Walsh Castle Coalition Coordinator, Institute for Justice (703) 682-9320 www.ij.org www.castlecoalition.org P.S. HELP THE CASTLE COALITION RING IN THE NEW YEAR! Forward this message to your friends. If you recruit five new members, you'll be entered in a drawing to win one of 10 prizes from our Freedom Market (http://fmarket.ij.org/! They can join here: http://www.castlecoalition.org/join/. Be sure that they enter your name next to "referred by" on the second registration page.

Kelo Action Update
7 years ago

Here is a letter from Susette Kelo regarding the Institute for Justice and its support in fighting to end eminent domain abuse both past & future.

========================================================
My name is Susette Kelo. On Monday, June 23, 2008, I need your help in making a little bit of history.

June 23 is the third anniversary of the infamous Kelo eminent domain case, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed perfectly well-maintained private homes like mine to be taken by the government and handed over for someone else’s private use. Under that ruling, any home could be taken and destroyed to make way for high-end condos.

Any small business could be bulldozed to make way for a big box store. And, tragically, that is what is happening in too many parts of our country.

I’d like your help to put an end to that abuse of eminent domain once and for all.

Please go to www.ij.org/keloday today and pledge to give some small contribution to the Institute for Justice (IJ) on June 23. (Pledge today and we will email you on June 23 reminding you to donate on that day.)

IJ helped defend my home and my neighbors’ homes when they were threatened by eminent domain for private gain.

IJ continues to defend other homeowners and small property owners in similar fights.

One hundred percent of the money raised on this site (www.ij.org/keloday) on that day will be used to fight eminent domain abuse--the use of eminent domain for private development projects. We recognize that under the Constitution eminent domain can be used for genuine “ublic use” projects, such as for a courthouse or to build a highway, but when government power is used to take land from one private property owner only to hand that land over to another private person for their private profit, that is an abuse of government’s power.

Our goal is to earn 10,000 donations for IJ on that one day, Monday, June 23.

Leading up to the Kelo argument, the Institute for Justice documented that 10,000 American property owners had their property threatened or actually taken by eminent domain for private use in just a 5-year period. That 10,000 figure inspired IJ and me to seek 10,000 donations from across the country to send a message to those in power that we care about our homes and that the abuse of eminent domain must be stopped.

We are not seeking large contributions on this day: just $25, $50 or $100. Even a $5 contribution will make a difference and add greatly to the ambitious numbers we’re trying to achieve on that day.

And, if you feel strongly enough about this effort and would be willing to forward this to friends who will join us in the fight to end eminent domain abuse, that too would be greatly appreciated.

Together, we can convince policymakers that eminent domain abuse is un-American and must be stopped.

Thank you for your consideration,

Susette Kelo kelo@ij.org
The evolving constitution
7 years ago

I appreciate the attention to this subject and I will point out that this constitution has never ever been upheld for the first peoples of this nation. Native Americans are still not given the same constitutional rights that the rest of the citizens of this country enjoy, especially the right to a fair trial and freedom from double jeopardy. Now that our rights are being taken away we can start to see the startling parallels to what the Native peoples of this land have endured for centuries. I hope all of you socially minded people will sign our petition to help an 87 year old Lakota medicine man who has suffered these injustices. You can also find links to our feature documentary "Holy Man" to find out more about this topic which has been playing out over the centuries for the Native peoples of this land by visiting: www.HolyManFilm.com. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/FreeDouglasWhite

Kelo Day update -and Link
7 years ago

Friends:

Monday, June 23, marks the third anniversary of the Kelo decision. Help us send a message to tax-hungry governments and their developer friends that eminent domain abuse must stop! Here's how you can help:

Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper. This is a fantastic opportunity to shed a national spotlight on your local battle against eminent domain for private gain. Be sure to mention Kelo Day!

Place Kelo Day banners and buttons on your site, blog or profile. They are available here: http://www.ij.org/keloday/.

Help raise awareness by distributing posters, stickers and brochures in your neighborhood this week. Respond to this e-mail if you're interested and we will send you materials.

Forward this e-mail to your friends! The bigger the Castle Coalition grows, the louder all of our voices grow as we tell those in power to stop taking our homes and businesses for private development!

Together, we can stop eminent domain abuse and ensure that once again, every person's home or business is his castle.

Best,

Christina Walsh
Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320
www.ij.org
www.castlecoalition.org

P.S. HELP THE CASTLE COALITION GROW! Forward this message to your friends. They can sign-up here: http://www.castlecoalition.org/join/index.html.


New message: Eminent Domain Abuse in NY Oct. '09
5 years ago

Friends: Below are details about two exciting projects, both coming out of the Empire State: Building Empires, Destroying Homes: Eminent Domain Abuse in New York New York is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to abusing eminent domain for private gain. Today, the Institute for Justice released a report, "Building Empires, Destroying Homes: Eminent Domain Abuse in New York,” that documents example after example where government officials across the Empire State used eminent domain not to create projects that would be owned and used by the public—such as a courthouse or post office—but, rather, to create private development that would financially benefit politically powerful private developers. A copy of the report is available at: http://www.ij.org/BuildingEmpires, and a press release with further details follows this e-mail. The Battle of Brooklyn A feature-length documentary is currently being produced about one of the most controversial and overwhelmingly opposed abuses of eminent domain in the country. The Battle of Brooklyn follows Daniel Goldstein and his fight to save his home and community in Brooklyn from the wrecking ball for the largest single-source development project ever proposed in New York City. Developer Bruce Ratner wants to build 16 skyscrapers and a sports and entertainment arena in the middle of Brooklyn - destroying seven blocks of homes and businesses, using eminent domain if owners don't want to sell. The use of eminent domain for this purely private project is currently being challenged in court. The film begins with the announcement of the Atlantic Yards Project in December 2003 and follows the intertwining stories of property owners, local activists, co-opted community groups, the media, tax-hungry bureaucrats and a politically-connected rich developer who will do anything to take what doesn't belong to him. The Battle of Brooklyn will be completed this fall, and will premiere in early 2010; but you can view the trailer here. We encourage you to check it out - you won't regret it! If you would like to support the film's completion and promotion, you can make a tax-deductible contribution through the Moving Picture Institute by clicking here. This film will be a tremendous indictment of eminent domain abuse and will fully capture the strength, determination and principle of threatened property owners and activists fighting condemnations for private profit. This Wednesday, October 14, the New York Court of Appeals - the state's highest court - will hear Daniel's challenge to the use of eminent domain for this project. This is the first case before the Court of Appeals since the infamous Kelo v. City of New London decision to address such takings. Every state supreme court that has addressed Kelo has ruled in favor of the property owners. If you're interested in attending the hearing to show your support for Daniel and his co-plaintiffs, please respond to this e-mail. Best, Christina Walsh Director of Activism and Coalitions Institute for Justice 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22203 (703) 682-9320 www.ij.org www.castlecoalition.org Institute for Justice 901 N. GLEBE ROAD SUITE 900 ARLINGTON, VA 22203 (703) 682-9320 FAX (703) 682-9321 HOME PAGE: WWW.IJ.ORG FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2009 New Report Documents Widespread Eminent Domain Abuse Across New York State Arlington, Va.—New York is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to abusing eminent domain for private gain, according to the Institute for Justice, which tracks such abuses nationwide. The Institute for Justice, which litigated the infamous Kelo eminent domain case before the U.S. Supreme Court, today released a report that documents example after example where government officials across the Empire State used eminent domain not to create projects that would be owned and used by the public—such as a courthouse or post office—but, rather, to create private development that would financially benefit politically powerful private developers. The report, “Building Empires, Destroying Homes: Eminent Domain Abuse in New York,” states, “Over the past decade, a host of government jurisdictions and agencies statewide have condemned or threatened to condemn homes and small businesses for the New York Stock Exchange, The New York Times, IKEA, Costco, and Stop & Shop. An inner-city church lost its future home to eminent domain for commercial development that never came to pass. Scores of small business owners have been threatened with seizure for a private university in Harlem and for office space in Queens and Syracuse. Older homes were on the chopping block near Buffalo, simply so newer homes could be built. From Montauk Point to Niagara Falls, every community in the Empire State is subject to what the U.S. Supreme Court has accurately called the ‘despotic power.’” A copy of the report is available here. In addition to documenting examples of eminent domain abuse across New York, the report also spotlights problems in New York state law when it comes to eminent domain and suggests solutions the courts and the Legislature can implement to ensure everyone keeps what is rightfully theirs to own. The report warns, “New York law not only makes it easy to condemn property, it actively encourages city agencies to do so. A variety of incentives are in place to motivate cities to create redevelopment zones, and to invite private developers to use government force to obtain the private properties contained in them, instead of negotiating in the free market. In this perverse system, city agencies and private developers are actually encouraged to team up together against local property owners.” There may, however, be hope for New York property owners. New York’s Court of Appeals—the state’s highest court—will hear a case in Albany on Wednesday, October 14, at 2 p.

New York Abuse -Topic Continued
5 years ago

There may, however, be hope for New York property owners.  New York’s Court of Appeals—the state’s highest court—will hear a case in Albany on Wednesday, October 14, at 2 p.m. that could finally offer property owners in the state some much-needed protection for the unholy and powerful alliance of tax-hungry government and land-hungry developers.

The case—Goldstein v. New York State Urban Development Corporation—challenges New York’s controversial use of eminent domain to hand privately owned businesses and homes in Brooklyn over to private developer Forest City Ratner as part of the Atlantic Yards development.

The Goldstein case will be the first time New York’s highest court will consider limits on the use of eminent domain since the infamous 2005 Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which allowed eminent domain for private development and sparked a nationwide backlash.  The Institute for Justice, which represented the property owners in Kelo, filed a brief in support of the Goldstein property owners and released a statewide analysis documenting how bad the issue of eminent domain has grown in the Empire State.
 
“If you own a piece of property in New York, you should care deeply about a case about to be argued before the state’s highest court,” said Dana Berliner, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice.  “Other people’s land has become just one more political favor to be passed out.  In recent years, New York lower courts have turned a blind eye to the enormous benefits to private developers, outrageous behavior on the part of government bureaucrats, and even blatant evidence that the project will be a miserable flop.  If owning a piece of property is going to mean anything, it is imperative that New York’s high court stop this abuse once and for all.  They have that opportunity with the Goldstein case.”

Eminent domain apologists often point to New York City’s Times Square as the best example of the glitzy success that can be achieved through eminent domain for private gain.  But the government official who headed up that project and who directed the use of eminent domain there recently published a report with the Institute for Justice in which he states, without equivocation, that eminent domain actually caused Times Square to further decline.  Only when government got out of the way to let in true private development, he writes, did Times Square grow into the success story that it is today, said William J. Stern in his April 2009 report, “The Truth About Times Square.”  (Click here for a copy of the report.)

“New York is one of only seven states nationwide whose legislature has utterly failed to pass any kind of eminent domain reform in the wake of Kelo,” explained Institute for Justice Staff Attorney Robert McNamara.  “With no hope coming from their legislators, New Yorkers must now look to their courts for protection from an eminent domain system that has flown entirely out of control.”

“The rate of eminent domain abuse in New York is simply staggering,” said Christina Walsh, the Institute’s director of activism and coalitions.  “We have worked with property owners statewide to fight the most egregious abuses, but state and local government officials seem to have no limit on their ability to dream up ways to abuse eminent domain.”

“The right to own your home or your small business is absolutely central to the American dream,” said Chip Mellor, the Institute’s founder and generally counsel.  “New York bureaucrats have been steadily chipping away at that right for decades.  The Goldstein case provides the perfect opportunity for the state to begin reversing that process.”

 

Bad News for Property Rights
5 years ago

INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 24, 2009

New York High Court Upholds
Eminent Domain for Private Gain

Arlington, Va.—The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, today announced that it would uphold the decision of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to condemn privately owned homes and small businesses to make way for wealthy developer Bruce Ratner’s so-called “Atlantic Yards” development of 16 mammoth skyscrapers centered around a basketball arena.

    “Today’s decision puts homes and businesses throughout New York at risk of condemnation,” said Dana Berliner, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice (IJ), which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.  “Courts have a duty to look carefully at the government’s claim that it has the right to take someone’s home or business, and the Court of Appeals has simply refused to do that.”

    While upholding the taking, the New York court did not go so far as to embrace the United States Supreme Court’s much-maligned reasoning in the 2005 Kelo v. City of New London case, which held that the U.S. Constitution allows governments to condemn property for economic development alone.  Instead, the Court found the takings were for a “ublic use” because of the ESDC’s determination that the area to be condemned was “blighted”—a determination that was based on a study paid for by the would-be developer and not even initiated until years after the Atlantic Yards project was announced.

    In a dissent, Judge Robert Smith excoriated the majority for abandoning its duty to critically examine the ESDC’s assertions.  “To let the agency itself determine when the public use requirement is satisfied is to make the agency a judge in its own cause,” Judge Smith wrote.  “I think that it is we who should perform the role of judges, and that we should do so by deciding that the proposed taking in this case is not for public use.”

    “The developer’s study did not find anything a normal person would call ‘blight,’” explained Berliner.  “Instead, it found that the neighborhood was ‘underutilized’—in other words, that the developer could think of bigger things that could be built where these homes and businesses are.  If that is all that is necessary for condemnation, then literally every piece of property in New York is at risk.”

    The majority’s opinion frankly acknowledges that the court may be opening the door to “olitical appointees to public corporations relying on studies paid for by developers . . . [as] a predicate for the invasion of property rights and the razing of homes and businesses.”  But, it says, preventing such abuses is not the job of the courts, advising New Yorkers to look to their legislature to fix any problems.

    “New York is one of only seven states that has failed utterly to pass any kind of eminent-domain reform in the wake of the Kelo decision, and today’s opinion will only make things worse,” said IJ Staff Attorney Robert McNamara.  “The state courts are looking to the legislature to fix the problem, while the legislature is apparently looking to the courts.  And that means more and more New Yorkers will be looking at condemnation notices.” 

    “Property rights are as sacred to citizens of New York as they are to Americans nationwide, and New Yorkers have rightly looked to their courts to protect those rights,” concluded IJ President and General Counsel Chip Mellor.  “Today’s opinion should be a clarion call to the state legislature that they cannot avoid this issue any longer.  Now is the time to give state residents the reform and protections they desperately need.”

###
 
Christina Walsh
Director of Activism and Coalitions
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320
(703) 682-9321 - fax
www.ij.org
www.castlecoalition.org
 

Re my 5yr old entry "Losing our property to "Save the Environment"
2 years ago

I believe this phenomenon can be properly listed under "Agenda 21". -a topic unknown to me at the time.

Google it!! Fight it if you can!! -Spread the word!!

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