Saturday, June 25, 2005

More on Kelo

I was going to write briefly about the biggest problem with Kelo, but the more I think about it, and the more I read about it(Really good coverage over at SCOTUS Blog), the more I realize that my reasoning may be a bit flawed, and I may be slipping toward unproductive emotional analysis

The most disturbing aspect of Kelo is who the victims in New London are, and just who the victims will be in the future. Justice Thomas indicates this problem in his solo dissent. Of course it is not going to be the rich who have their land taken. Rather, it will be the poor, minorities, and those who lack political power.

However, this is the case in any government taking, including those which undeniably serve a public purpose. The Kennedy compound on Martha’s Vineyard is not going to be taken to build a shopping mall, airport, park, or highway. It is not going to be taken period, as the Kennedy’s are wealthy and have political clout. Sure it’s distasteful that it will be the poor who have their property taken. But aren’t we creating a false distinction when we accept the taking of a poor person’s home to build a highway, but reject the notion of taking a poor person’s home to build a hopping mall. Either way, they’re still losing their property.

This is not to say that there are not problems with Kelo, but in a legal framework, you have to remember to always examine process, and not look to judge a legal decision only based upon results.


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