Friday, June 24, 2005

So Much for an "Ownership Society"

The current administration has a vision of an "ownership society." However, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has now handed the well-to-do and corporate America another feather for their caps. Local governments can force you to leave your home for economic development of the community (which almost certainly guarantees someone or some small group a nice payday along the way). Something about this stinks. Isn’t this something the U.S. has routinely lectured other governments about not doing? Anybody have an opinion on this one?


mark said...

This opinion was a disaster, effectively a judicial sanction on oligarchy.

Not the first one either by the centrists on the the High Court, when they can cobble together 5-4, in order to turn the meaning of amendments on their head in order to give the elite and connected more rights than the rest of us. Or in the recent medical marijuana case, broaden government power to the point of no check or balance. This is what you get with Justices who are picked for their " confirmability" and lack of strong opinions - muddled reasoning.

The partisan in me must note that the Court's most conservative jurists dissented fiercely but I don't think this one was a Left-Right split but one between minds guided by principles and those that are comfortable without them. I might be wrong, but I'm dubious that the late Justice Brennan, a logical and principled liberal, would have sided with the majority.

vonny said...


I need to read the opinions of those who voted in favor of this decision, because I do not understand how it is justified. I like your comment on Zen that, "Oligarchy is a sign of civilizational decay." I couldn't agree more. It will be interesting to say the least how this plays out over the next few years.

Erica said...

I may be unclear on this, but isn't there a constitutional amendment that gives people the right to protect their property and do whatever they want with it?

James said...

I wish I knew more about constitutional law. I am sad to say that I am already quite cynical about our government, and not just the current administration.

"Man is free, but is everywhere in chains." - Rousseau

Delnai said...

Erica, I think you're thinking of the fifth amendment. The fifth amendment says that the government can't seize your property without compensating you for it. The amendment doesn't say "the US government's not gonna mess with you," it just says "the US government is gonna be fair if it messes with you."