Remember Kelo!
August 19, 2005 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Remember Kelo? After winning a landmark eminent domain ruling from the Supreme Court, the New London Development Corporation now wants to pay residents based on value they held in 2000, rather then 2005, which would leave them unable to buy equivalent new home in today's real estate bubble.

Then also want to charge back rent. In some cases up to $300 thousand. Susette Kelo herself now owes $56k.
posted by delmoi (66 comments total)

 
that's obscene ... steal your house and charge you to live in it while you fight it? ... the greed of some people is unbelivable
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 AM on August 19, 2005


The "assholes" tag nails it. Other obscenities come to mind as well.

In this case, both the city and the corporation is screwing them over. One asking for back rent and the other buying at 2000 prices. The latter is bad enough, the first just pushes this over the top.

Can't they just move out of the city without paying the back rent? Yeah, it's not legal...blah blah blah. But if the city can't enforce it, it'll be a nice "fuck you."
posted by state fxn at 9:10 AM on August 19, 2005


.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 9:13 AM on August 19, 2005


Can't they just move out of the city without paying the back rent? Yeah, it's not legal...blah blah blah. But if the city can't enforce it, it'll be a nice "fuck you."

I'm guessing they'll just subtract the rent fees from the amount the people are paid for ED. So some people might get kicked out of their homes and given a check for a few thousand dollars, or nothing at all.
posted by delmoi at 9:16 AM on August 19, 2005


This has always been the real problem with eminent domain: not just that they take your house, but they force you to sell at a criminal price, usually as punishment for not playing nice with them.

This is what happened to the poorer communities that were dislodged to build that stadium in California (I forget exactly which one). The people that were displaced got shit prices and had to move into run down houses in terrible neighborhoods, if I remember correctly.
posted by teece at 9:17 AM on August 19, 2005


teece, that was Dodger Stadium.

this is truly despicable.
posted by killy willy at 9:25 AM on August 19, 2005


I'm guessing they'll just subtract the rent fees from the amount the people are paid for ED.

I've thought about that. But with all the paperwork usually involved in business transactions, I think it's also likely that there will be two checks going around: 1. from the corporation to the owners, or ex-owners. 2. from the owners to the city. The city has no right to take the money from the corporation, fiddle with it and send the rest, if any, to the people.

I wonder what the other residents of New London think of this affair?
posted by state fxn at 9:27 AM on August 19, 2005


Did the author of the article linked from the blog entry cited here even talk with anyone from the New London Development Corp.? It sure doesn't seem so. It's more like an advocacy piece, given the bathetic talk of hard rains. I'd really like to hear the whole story. It's only fair.
posted by raysmj at 9:34 AM on August 19, 2005


I wonder what the other residents of New London think of this affair?

What I wonder is why they didn't vote these motherfuckers out of office in the intervening four years?

I've thought about that. But with all the paperwork usually involved in business transactions, I think it's also likely that there will be two checks going around: 1. from the corporation to the owners, or ex-owners. 2.

Well, my understanding was that the land needs to be taken by the government, and given to the company. So if its the city charging "rent", then the city can subtract that money before giving it to them.

It's unbeliveably criminal, and hopefully a judge will not grant either of their insane requests.

---
There ought to be, IMO, at least a federal level oversight of the prices that are paid in ED seizures. They ought to at least account for replacement costs.
posted by delmoi at 9:36 AM on August 19, 2005


raysmj: There's a story from USA Today on this. And from the linked article:

"In a letter to the homeowners' lawyer a year ago, the development corporation justified its behavior by saying, 'We know that your clients did not expect to live in city-owned property for free.'"
posted by state fxn at 9:44 AM on August 19, 2005


state fxn: That's not a story. It's an editorial.
posted by raysmj at 9:54 AM on August 19, 2005


So it is. Sorry. But I'm confused, are you doubting that this is actually happening?
posted by state fxn at 9:58 AM on August 19, 2005


There isn't a lot to it, raysmj. Company is pissed at not being obeyed without question, decides to teach puny commoners a lesson. Is that so hard to understand?
posted by zerolives at 10:01 AM on August 19, 2005


Wow, its amazing when crooks operate in broad daylight. What these people are doing and trying to do is appalling.

I don't get how any of this could even be thought of as legal. Forcing people to sell their homes at 2000 prices? How? Forcing them to pay backrent on property they own? What? Ah, because it was seized five years ago they're assessing rent against them? Wow, that's so incredibly brazen.
posted by fenriq at 10:01 AM on August 19, 2005


IRC log of #ushistory
06:23:05 [TJ3ff3r50n]
TJ3ff3r50n joins #ushistory
08:19:05 [TJ3ff3r50n]
TJ3ff3r50n: *prepares grounds around Tree of Liberty.
11:07:06 [TJ3ff3r50n]
TJ3ff3r50n: *rubs hands together and smiles
posted by Suck Poppet at 10:01 AM on August 19, 2005


zerolives: There isn't a lot to it, raysmj. Company is pissed at not being obeyed without question, decides to teach puny commoners a lesson. Is that so hard to understand?

I suspect there is more to it. Candidates for city government run under a campaign of economic development. Then they say, "we need a hotel, it will bring jobs and money into the community!" and spawn off a corporation to do it. The people living in that neighborhood no longer become homeowners, but barriers to economic development. This is how these kinds of projects stay in office.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:14 AM on August 19, 2005


TJ3ff3r50n: *prepares grounds around Tree of Liberty.

It might be important to note that it requires the blood of both patriots and tyrants.
I have found that I am allergic to bleeding. It makes me very uncomfortable.
posted by prak at 10:17 AM on August 19, 2005


...lawyers argued that because the takeover took place in 2000, the residents had been living on city property for nearly five years, and would therefore owe rent for the duration of their stay at the close of the trial. Any money made from tenants--some residents' only form of income--would also have to be paid to the city.

Whaaaat? Sleazy as it is to make the homeowners pay rent, there is at least some arguable basis for doing that. But what's up with the double-dipping?? What bastards.

posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:18 AM on August 19, 2005


Then again, I think the whole concept of nationalism is overrated, so I'm not much of a patriot. And since I am lucky if I can get even my computer to do what I want, I can't be much of a tyrant.

Hopefully this means there won't be much blood lost on my part since there is no mention of the Tree making use of the blood clueless cowards.
posted by prak at 10:21 AM on August 19, 2005


So clueless as to exclude an "of" when posting.
posted by prak at 10:23 AM on August 19, 2005


This does sound like a lousy thing to do, regardless of whether it is legal. But it's not over yet. According to the USA Today editorial, the governor is involved and trying to work out a compromise. There will no doubt be further litigation over this; I'm sure there are plenty of lawyers offering free services to the affected residents.

I imagine the residents are entitled to some reasonable rate of return on the money they would have been paid in 2000. It's probably nothing close to what they would have gained during the housing boom, but they should at least get more than merely the price set in 2000. (This is a tricky issue, since if the market had plummeted in the last five years, the residents would surely have protested if the government argued that the price should be lower today.)

The government may be doing some saber-rattling here just to strengthen its negotiating position. In any event, I hope something reasonable gets worked out.
posted by brain_drain at 10:24 AM on August 19, 2005


Amazing that the principals of the New London Development Corporation haven't been tarred & feathered. At the very least. I'm curious what their neighbors are doing. Standing around thinking "Gee, it sucks to be you" or do they realize it's their necks that could be next on the block?
Lawyering up is great, but since when did landowning Americans become something to be trifled with and not feared?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:32 AM on August 19, 2005


This is just despicable.
posted by jb at 10:36 AM on August 19, 2005


This is criminally offensive.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:38 AM on August 19, 2005


is there a "pigfucker" tag?
posted by slogger at 10:43 AM on August 19, 2005


What ever happened to the free market system? Doesn't apply to homeowners? Bullshit. Now I know why so many Americans collect firearms.
posted by disgruntled at 10:49 AM on August 19, 2005


This may be less of a punishment than a warning, i.e., the august gentlemen of the corporation and city government are planning to take even more homes and want no opposition the next time around.

I could also see an even worse scenario: the corp. agrees to pay 2005 value on the property, then declares that, since no one would buy property involved in a dispute like this, the value of the property is effectively zero.
posted by joaquim at 10:49 AM on August 19, 2005


This is hard to believe. Instead of money, shouldn't the corporation be requested to provide them with equivalent housing?
posted by bikerdriver at 11:18 AM on August 19, 2005


Smedlyman: I'm curious what their neighbors are doing.

Probably looking to cash in on the promised "economic development."

Seriously, I see a big parallel between this, and what is happening in Indiana with a new-route Interstate proposal. On the one side, you have the people who are going to have their properties cut up by construction, on the other side, you have the people looking to make money off of it. And the end result is that disagreements get nasty because both sides have a shitload of capital and ego invested in their position. Eminent domain usually works politically because the voters who stand to make money tend to outnumber the people displaced.

The siren call of "we need this to bring jobs to our community" is pretty powerful.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:30 AM on August 19, 2005


It's worth noting that all the most conservative members of the Supreme Court (Scalia, Thomas, the Chief, and O'Conner) dissented from the ruling that made this possible. We used to have a Constitional right to be protected from this sort of thing in the first place - but the living Constitution took that away.

The Supreme Court giveth, and the Supreme Court taketh away. Blessed be the name of Justice Stevens.
posted by gd779 at 11:35 AM on August 19, 2005


Well, gd779, it has provoked some interesting reactions from the Democratic sector of the internet pundit corps.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:49 AM on August 19, 2005


By the city's logic, these people owe rent since they've been living on "city land" for the last five years. Well, I guess if the land hasn't been theirs for the last five years, the homeowners haven't had to pay any taxes on the land during that time, right? I'm curious as to when the land in question became the city's. I mean, either the land was the city's, and the people owe rent, or the land was the peoples, and the city can go hang. Either way, I wouldn't move. I'd make 'em knock the walls down around me, or arrest me.
posted by krash2fast at 11:51 AM on August 19, 2005


Developer: "Gee, I wonder why our hotel keeps burning down during construction."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:58 AM on August 19, 2005


It would be nice to see the city council members responsible voted out, and replaced with a new council that promptly uses ED to condemn the hotel and transfer the property back to the original owners. Pure fantasy, of course, but it would be nice.
posted by mullingitover at 12:18 PM on August 19, 2005


Is it revolution time, yet?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:30 PM on August 19, 2005


There was an interesting panel discussion in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives last week, where mayors and township planners discussed the neccessity of and problems with the use of eminent domain with a Republican-lead committee.

What was interesting was that the Republican representative was after common ground: he was concerned that this ruling evaporated property rights, but on the same token, he acknowledged that eminent domain does get used properly as a tool to spur development and improve the public welfare.

A compromise was discussed where the state would allow eminent domain to collect land for public use only, and not for private, for-profit use.

There is middle ground in this ongoing debate, people's polemics aside.
posted by Rothko at 12:40 PM on August 19, 2005


ok aside from the issue of paying them a lot less than they should and having the nerve to ask for rent, I don't get how can a city council expropriate private property on behalf of a developer? They're actually going to take away these people's homes to allow a private corporation to build their own commercial premises there, not public buildings or a road or a park or anything like that, right? how is that even possible?
posted by funambulist at 12:49 PM on August 19, 2005


The only thing that can be said for Kelo is that it brings folks on the right and the left together for a rare moment of shared outrage.

I was baffled by the unified dissent against the SCOTUS decision.

Why would "leftists" care two licks about invididual property rights? Or am I confused about right and left again?

There ought to be, IMO, at least a federal level oversight of the prices that are paid in ED seizures.

There's enough federal meddling already in cities and states. I'm not against it in all cases, but it seems very unnecessary in this case.

What ever happened to the free market system?

I dunno. Ever tried to hire a prostitute? Buy heroin? Sell pirated DVDs? America is far from being a "free market." We shouldn't pretend it is.

The government may be doing some saber-rattling here just to strengthen its negotiating position.

That's it.

Is it revolution time, yet?

American revolutions became impossible more than 50 years ago. Give it up.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:50 PM on August 19, 2005


Rothko: A compromise was discussed where the state would allow eminent domain to collect land for public use only, and not for private, for-profit use.

See, I didn't actually think that's how it worked over there, that property could be claimed for private use... that's rather shocking really.
posted by funambulist at 1:01 PM on August 19, 2005


Why would "leftists" care two licks about invididual property rights? Or am I confused about right and left again?
Because it was transferred to a for-profit company.

This is a perfect event for bringing left and right together. The left hates it because it's taking property from common homeowners and transferring it to bourgeois capitalists. The right hates it because it's taking property away from homeowners. We can all roast marshmallows together and sing Kum Ba Ya while voting these fuckers out of office.
posted by mullingitover at 1:05 PM on August 19, 2005



I could also see an even worse scenario: the corp. agrees to pay 2005 value on the property, then declares that, since no one would buy property involved in a dispute like this, the value of the property is effectively zero.


This is EXACTLY what happened when Quabbin Reservoir was created in Massachusetts in the 1930's. The state leaked plans to take the towns many decades before actually doing so. By the time they got around to doing it, no one wanted to live there because they knew they would be uprooted. Massachusetts then paid criminally low prices for the land.
posted by RalphSlate at 1:06 PM on August 19, 2005


If anything calls for a boycott of a city or even a whole fucking state, it's this.

I'd also like to call for a googlebombing of the word "assholes".
posted by BrandonAbell at 1:10 PM on August 19, 2005


"The siren call of "we need this to bring jobs to our community" is pretty powerful."
Agreed, KirkJobSluder. I suspect though the second amendment is the stick when peaceable redress of greivences don't work.

"American revolutions became impossible more than 50 years ago. Give it up."
Der wha?
I could personally paralyze a 50 mile radius around my house. But that's just mayhem. MLK ring a bell? What would you call the civil rights movement? And that's before the internets.

I readily concede though that no one is going to throw down unless things get really really bad. Belly first, then politics - to paraphrase Brecht.
But this is getting closer. At some point, if developers and politicians aren't careful, you'll have a bunch of really pissed off educated folks with nothing to lose. And they'll have sympathizers.

Why do you think the authorities have to bus in cops from other areas to break strikes?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:17 PM on August 19, 2005


I'm angry at these developers for making me side with Scalia and Thomas. That precedent basically lays bare the notion that if you got the bucks to bribe a town's government, and can draw up plans which would bring increased revenue to the town, you can bulldoze anything you want.

So am I to understand that no taxes were paid, no mortgages, during these 5 years? Ugly, ugly, stuff.

Makes me think that whole McKinley revivalism thing is really kicking in.
posted by Busithoth at 1:42 PM on August 19, 2005


mrgrimm: Why would "leftists" care two licks about invididual property rights? Or am I confused about right and left again?

Probably.

Busithoth: That precedent basically lays bare the notion that if you got the bucks to bribe a town's government, and can draw up plans which would bring increased revenue to the town, you can bulldoze anything you want.

I don't think the problem is just with the town's government. IME, your neighbors will be happy to sell you out on issues like this.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2005


funambulist-- there was a Supreme Court decision last month that said economic development was a sufficient "public purpose" for eminent domain. In the past it had to be for something like a road, but the Supremes opened the door for more.

The people getting screwed on market value and past due rent in this story are the same one who sued to keep their property...
posted by InfidelZombie at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2005


We used to have a Constitional right to be protected from this sort of thing in the first place - but the living Constitution took that away

It has nothing to do with a "living Constitution". The issue boils down to the amount of deference the court will give to the states' definitions of "public" purpose. The liberals on the court decided that they didn't have the authority to second-guess the state on a matter that has not been considered a fundamental right. The conservatives either decided that they could, or that property ownership is a fundamental right.

See these links for background on eminent domain.

Or you can always read the Supreme Court opinion discussing the level of scrutiny legally allowed, and how much deference must be given to the judgement of these elected representatives who made the decision.

The outcome sucks, but the majority opinion may not be so poorly reasoned.
posted by dilettante at 2:09 PM on August 19, 2005


InfidelZombie: No, they didn't. They refused to overturn precedent that had allowed projects like this all through the '70s and especially the '80s and '90s (Repubs. pioneered a lot of this with the enterprise zone concept). And the opinion concluded with a remark to the effect that nothing in it should be thought to prevent states from revamping their existing eminent domain laws. It reads to me like a tacit endorsement of dealing with the issues of public v. private at the state and local levels. And many are doing that now.

That this part of the opinion has been consistently overlooked seems to me to be a result of some hysteria over this issue. I don't quite get why the New London folks would want to punish the owners after winning, but maybe there's more to what's going on here? I tried to find some articles from the New London paper, ones dealing with what sounded like some increasing nastiness between the two side, but the paper required payment fo these pieces. Whatever the case, I'm not trusting the articles I've read here to tell me the whole story, given the emotions this decision has stirred.
posted by raysmj at 2:16 PM on August 19, 2005


Could one of these homeowners get their hands on some really toxic chemicals(radon? spent uranium?) and bury it in their basement, rendering the property unusable?
posted by MjrMjr at 2:41 PM on August 19, 2005


Infidelzombie: thanks for the info, I'd missed the part about that Supreme Court decision.

dilettante: The issue boils down to the amount of deference the court will give to the states' definitions of "public" purpose.

That sounds really arbitrary... why didn't they just stick to the definition based on funding rather than purpose? if it's something managed by state/local authorities and financed with public money then it is public. If it isn't, it's private... A lot of privately owned and operated premises do have a "public" purpose but that doesn't make them public.

(I'm talking of the general concepts, I don't know the specifics of these laws in the US so, only asking)
posted by funambulist at 2:53 PM on August 19, 2005


funambulist: Well, the Supreme Court isn't there to decide if a law is in the best interest of everyone involved. The Supreme Court is there to decide if a law is compatible with precident and the Constitution. So the court's reasoning in regards to Kelso seems to be that precident gives state and local governments the power to define what is just eminent domain.

I can see an analogy to Eldred in which the court decided that while the law in question may suck, the constitution gave congress the power to make bad law in that case.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:17 PM on August 19, 2005


funambulist: Separation of powers between the federal governments and the states and the courts and the legislatures has always been a very complex balance through in U.S. law. The majority in Kelo decided that they didn't have the authority to even examine whether it was really a public purpose - that our Constitutional law leaves that decision to the states.

Also, see what KirkJobSluder said, above.
posted by dilettante at 3:25 PM on August 19, 2005


The Supreme Court is there to decide if a law is compatible with precident and the Constitution.
Activist Bastards!

Whoa.
*puts down the coffee & tequila*
Sorry.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:26 PM on August 19, 2005


Funambulist -- The problem is that eminent domain has collided with the neoliberal privatization of government services. These days you can't really define "public purpose" by who is funding or managing the project (e.g., private prisons, private toll roads...)

It makes sense to have urban development managed by local government; urban planning by court order would be a huge mess. I think Kelo was a good decision because now states and cities will be motivated to pass laws reigning in developers (which the Supreme Court would never be able to do itself.) Maybe this will be the start of localities actually thinking hard about land use.
posted by footnote at 3:30 PM on August 19, 2005


since when did landowning Americans become something to be trifled with and not feared

Since about when the Father of the Country & Hamilton busted some balls during the Whiskey Rebellion.

property ownership is a fundamental right

While I consider myself something of a Georgist/geolibertarian, it's crap like this that strengthens the case for absolute right in land ownership. However, I am still reminded that Lloyd George's saying: "In order to prove title to land one must trace it back to the man who stole it" is pretty much inarguable I think.

I think Libertarian/minarchist principles + a land value tax on those wishing to possess land would lessen the tyranny of one-dollar one-vote and reduce the distorting effects of our present quasi-parasitical land-owning class (property owners, as opposed to building owners, are getting something for nothing IMV, since they didn't create or cause to create the land they rent out).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:37 PM on August 19, 2005


I gotta throw my lot in with those who think this is a reason to call an armed mob together. I'm not talkin' rioting, I'm not talking violence, but I am talking a big ol' mass o' people who have no interest in being pushed around and are willing to defend their rights personally when the government has failed to do so.
Sometimes America gets too polite and forgets that up until the mid '70s, a mass of armed folks was a viable way of defending rights (leaving aside that armed mobs also give us lynchings, etc.)
But hey, I had relatives at the Haymarket Riots, so maybe I'm a little too far to the left...
posted by klangklangston at 3:58 PM on August 19, 2005


i don't have anything useful to add to the intellectual debate here... but if it were me, id cheerfully admit defeat, wave good bye and wish them good business and lotsa luck... then two years later, sneak in and dynamite the FUCK out of anything they put up over the ruins of my house.

♫ AAAAAAmerica, america, god shed his grace on thee! ♫
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:20 PM on August 19, 2005


I could personally paralyze a 50 mile radius around my house. But that's just mayhem. MLK ring a bell? What would you call the civil rights movement? And that's before the internets.

Sure, I believe peaceful "revolutions" are possible. So is "gradual positive change," if you want to consider that a "revolution" I assumed the reference was to a coup d'etat. Perhaps I shouldn't assume.

Nonetheless, the only military group that could threaten the United States Army seems imaginary. Or else nuclear-annihilistic.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:07 PM on August 19, 2005


then two years later, sneak in and dynamite the FUCK out of anything they put up over the ruins of my house.

This isn't going to hurt them financially. Business interruption insurance is a beautiful thing... money to rebuild everything, plus money to pay salaries, plus plenty of time to do it all.

Hell, I'd love it if you did this to me... A paid year off.
posted by mosch at 5:10 PM on August 19, 2005


This is a tricky issue, since if the market had plummeted in the last five years, the residents would surely have protested if the government argued that the price should be lower today.

Perhaps, but not as loudly. The problem isn't just that they're getting ripped off, but that they won't be able to find replacement homes. They should be offered current fair-market prices for their homes--whether they've gone up or down in the past ten years is irrelevant. Because of the actions of the state, they need to find new homes now, not five or ten years ago.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:56 PM on August 19, 2005


kirkjobsluder & dilettante: thanks for the explanation, I think I get it now. Still, even with that separation of powers, it sounds odd to me that this extension of the definition would not be considered inherently anti-constitutional... but again I don't know much about these legal matters in the US so I'm just thinking of the principles.

footnote: The problem is that eminent domain has collided with the neoliberal privatization of government services. These days you can't really define "public purpose" by who is funding or managing the project (e.g., private prisons, private toll roads...)

Ah yes, I'd forgot about that...

It makes sense to have urban development managed by local government; urban planning by court order would be a huge mess.

Oh I agree with that, works the same way in Europe, the planning is done locally, but the notion of what is public still depends on funding and control, not purpose, even when there's also some form of involvement of private companies (like for transport or services and such). I just cannot picture a corporation that's actually entirely private being given by the local or state authorities the right to expropriate the private property of individuals. It just seems to me that's just giving one bigger private entity more power than single private citizens, with the public purpose being used as excuse.
posted by funambulist at 5:57 AM on August 20, 2005


"Nonetheless, the only military group that could threaten the United States Army seems imaginary. Or else nuclear-annihilistic."
Not threaten the US Army militarily, but it would be easy to whip up a military movement that threatened the US Army politically. Think about what would happen if you called in the army to displace a lot of people who were armed and refusing to be evicted from their homes. It would be a public relations disaster, and likely bring about reform in emminent domain laws through a reactive legislature. Using the armed forces against a domestic population is a big deal, even if it were only SWAT teams or the National Guard (especially now with most of the guard abroad). There's be national sympathy for these people, and if there were enough of them it would prove pretty impossible to convict them of any crime (getting twelve people to convict anywhere over misdemeanors? Not likely).
posted by klangklangston at 9:16 AM on August 20, 2005


Think about what would happen if you called in the army to displace a lot of people who were armed and refusing to be evicted from their homes.

"DHS investigators were responsible for the arrest and capture of two dozen terrorists today in New London. Specially-trained SWAT teams were used in today's arrests, prompting some in Congress to request additional budget funds to train similar groups throughout the country..."
posted by Jairus at 9:56 AM on August 20, 2005


During their dispute, I'm guessing that the Kelo petitioners were granted an injunction? Otherwise they would have been turfed from their homes by the local authorities.

If so, I don't see how the city government could just nullify an injunction and say that it didn't really happen. I'm no lawyer, but that sounds like contempt of court.
posted by brevity at 10:28 AM on August 20, 2005


I'm angry at these developers for making me side with Scalia and Thomas.

You and me both.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:37 AM on August 20, 2005


"DHS investigators were responsible for the arrest and capture of two dozen terrorists today in New London. Specially-trained SWAT teams were used in today's arrests, prompting some in Congress to request additional budget funds to train similar groups throughout the country..."
Bullshit. Even Waco, where the government was faily legitimately trying to dislodge some lunatics, got big egg on the face of the ATF. This issue already unites lefties and righties. Going in with the armed forces would be the worst possible outcome for the government. The governor would step in before there was actual violence.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 AM on August 20, 2005


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