How's them apples?
June 28, 2005 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Justice Souter may rue his decision on eminent domain... I can't tell how serious the backers of this hotel 'proposal' may actually be, but I know that it brought a smile to my face. Anyone else think of some good "right back at'cha" antics after controversial rulings, mandates, etc. were made?
posted by tgrundke (95 comments total)
Give that the proposal is punitive in its intent , I imagine Souter could sue these men in a state court and win quite the bundle for himself, if those doing the proposing ever carry out their plans.
posted by raysmj at 1:15 PM on June 28, 2005

excellent! I wish Soros or someone would start too--Dear Upper East Siders: I am planning a new development from 5th Avenue thru Park Avenue in the 70s and 80s, and my project will bring in far more revenue than your blighted little townhouses. Please vacate before i eminent domain your asses.

Dear Residents of the Hamptons, A mega hotel and resort would bring in far more revenue than your beach houses. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:20 PM on June 28, 2005

"Welcome to RedneckWorld! Located at the former residence of George W. Bush in Crawford Texas, we'd like to thank the Supreme Court for helping us arrange this tourist trap to supplement the revenues of Crawford!"

posted by Kickstart70 at 1:26 PM on June 28, 2005

I want to install a rollercoaster on the lot currently occupied by the Supreme Court of the United States.

I mean, come on, who doesn't like rollercoasters?

Next: free fall drop ride. Site: The Washington Monument.
posted by sdrawkcab at 1:34 PM on June 28, 2005

Hell, why not make the National Mall into a real mall? I can see it now - Gap's Tomb, Hotdog on a Stick Washington Monument, Phó Shizzle Vietnam Memorial...
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:34 PM on June 28, 2005

Oh no you didn't! Souter you iz burned oh noes!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:35 PM on June 28, 2005

Isn't there some fine print in the ruling that says SCOTUS judges are totally exempt from the ruling being used to bite them in the ass?
posted by fenriq at 1:38 PM on June 28, 2005

Punitive? It's meant to punish Souter for a ruling, and would thus be about as abitrary and capricious a move as one could imagine. This is a pretty stupid thing I've seen posted all over, mostly at libertarian sites. Some of us read other stuff besides metafilter.
posted by raysmj at 1:39 PM on June 28, 2005

I don't know... it seems like it could be a fairly viable business plan. Libertarian fanboys have green money too, and I could see the Souter Hotel at Weare as quite the activist-tourism site.

With respect to the actionability of punitive ventures... if these guys can show they have a viable business plan and a reasonable projection of gross job and revenue growth, does it matter? It's my impression that if you honestly expect to make money with a given investment, nobody really cares about your secondary motivations...
posted by Vetinari at 1:46 PM on June 28, 2005

mostly at libertarian sites

wait, wait, you mean there are other websites?

Anyway, it's clearly a joke, like that website with the sat-photos of Poindexter's house during the TIA flap. It isn't the funniest laugh-out-loud sort of thing, but a mildly amusing joke that even has a point - the ruling was 1) stupid and 2) will lead to some profound consequences.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:46 PM on June 28, 2005

Incidentally, the ruling only applies to "areas", you can't just condemn one house, but it's the thought that counts...
posted by atrazine at 1:47 PM on June 28, 2005

abitrary and capricious

i love it when you guys get all pretend law-talkin' n' stuff.
posted by quonsar at 1:47 PM on June 28, 2005

Vetinary: Their secondary motivations? They've flat-out announced, in so many words, their intent and it's all over the web today. This isn't even a good joke.
posted by raysmj at 1:48 PM on June 28, 2005

We know what "punitive" means, raysmj - but if a law exists, its punitive use is perfectly legal. If your dog is running around off its leash, the fact that I have hated you for years doesn't make my calling the dogcatcher a tort. YANAL.
posted by nicwolff at 1:51 PM on June 28, 2005

I love how the wacko right wing has started distorting this press release.

Sher Zieve says:
On Monday, Freestar Media reported that the Towne of Weare, NH intends to file plans to erect a hotel on the property currently holding Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s home. It is reported that on Monday, Logan Darrow Clements faxed a request to the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, NH “seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road”, Souter’s current residence.
Wow. She mangled it so it appears that the town is taking action.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 1:53 PM on June 28, 2005

atrazine: Incidentally, the ruling only applies to "areas", you can't just condemn one house, but it's the thought that counts...
Just briefly scanning the syllabus, I don't see anything that limits it to "areas." Why couldn't you condemn just one house? It's the thought that seems to count: if the city carefully formulates a development plan that involves building a hotel on Souter's property, you'd think they'd be good to go.
Personally, I can't wait for the first development to go up, and then a rival developer to come in and get the city council to condemn that in favor of building a new, improved tax generator.
posted by spacewrench at 2:05 PM on June 28, 2005

i was arguing in favor of the Kelo decision in other threads, but i gotta admit that this is pretty damned hilarious.
posted by spiderwire at 2:11 PM on June 28, 2005

Why do you find it so funny? Souter didn't even write the majority opinion.
posted by raysmj at 2:14 PM on June 28, 2005

Weare, by the way, is a little blink and you'll miss it town, known primarily as the subject of jokes along the lines of "Where do you live?" "Weare." "Where?" "Yes." And so on.
posted by schoolgirl report at 2:15 PM on June 28, 2005

Concurring with the majority opinion carries the same weight as writing it.
posted by dwivian at 2:19 PM on June 28, 2005

Population 7.776? That's a sho-nuf town, schoolgirl. Souter's one of them snooty townpeople.

I know a Weir that gets those jokes, and is small enough to have a town dog, one that has befriended the town cat.

But, that does put the story in a teensy bit more perspective. It's still not hysterically funny, but . . .
posted by raysmj at 2:20 PM on June 28, 2005

dwivian: Your vote counts as much as anyone else's, sure. But without any context, the joke doesn't make any sense, given that Souter's role was not an overwhelming or rather a standout one.
posted by raysmj at 2:21 PM on June 28, 2005

Raysmj, what is your stake in convincing everyone that this isn't funny?
posted by trey at 2:26 PM on June 28, 2005

No stake. I only asked above why it should be considered funny, and I only asked once. I got an explanation, but stated that I still didn't find it all that terribly amusing. I'll gladly send you all my financial reports, however, if you need them, with account numbers blacked out and such.
posted by raysmj at 2:33 PM on June 28, 2005

What's the mean of our age, again? And we're still telling others that something isn't funny?
Come on kids...
posted by hototogisu at 2:44 PM on June 28, 2005

Maybe raysmj is a Supreme Court Justice!! OMIGOD!@!
posted by billysumday at 2:48 PM on June 28, 2005

raysmj is just mad b/c back in his day, people used to walk barefoot in the snow, 5 miles uphill both ways, to do funny stuff; none of this newfangled website/supreme court ruling rubbish.

now you kids turn off that damn music and get the hell off his lawn!
posted by lord_wolf at 2:48 PM on June 28, 2005

Oh, thanks, mommy.
posted by raysmj at 2:48 PM on June 28, 2005

Oh, it's the funniest damn thing I ever read! Post more of it! Even if it was posted in 40,000 other places before it came here! And let's have more dumb political jokes posted here that have already been seen at 40,000 ideological/partisan websites! Bring it on! And please more crap about, say, Ann Coulter being hit with a pie.
posted by raysmj at 2:50 PM on June 28, 2005

How about you just falling into a hole and dying?

^ is a similar level of boorishness. But whatever.
posted by hototogisu at 2:53 PM on June 28, 2005

Kickstart70 wrote:
"Welcome to RedneckWorld! Located at the former residence of George W. Bush in Crawford Texas,"

Ks70, I have cherished using said property as the dumping ground for spent fuel rods etc. from the nuclear installations that Dumbya has proposed. Can we talk?
posted by Cranberry at 2:54 PM on June 28, 2005

hototogisu: I'd said all I had to say, frankly, before you chimed in for your Bash the Dissenter moment.
posted by raysmj at 2:56 PM on June 28, 2005

Ks70, I have cherished using said property as the dumping ground for spent fuel rods etc. from the nuclear installations that Dumbya has proposed.

but, Cranberry, where's the economic benefit? In providing circus freaks for the nation? In ensuring Jenna and NotJenna don't breed?
posted by amberglow at 3:26 PM on June 28, 2005

amber, I am surprised at your looking for a financial motive! Timing is what I wished to talk to Ks70 about. Perhaps RedneckWorld could be built on top of the nuclear waste. It might glow...
posted by Cranberry at 3:43 PM on June 28, 2005

raysmj: I'll take 20 minutes of JRun errors as a sign that the gods don't want me to post my reply.

Do we really have to have the "why Souter argument? That's just silly!"--is the convenient location of one of his properties not good enough?
posted by hototogisu at 3:46 PM on June 28, 2005

ahhh--go to it! godspeed! ; >
posted by amberglow at 3:48 PM on June 28, 2005

Cranberry writes "I am surprised at your looking for a financial motive!"

Well, you know, since eminent domain is being granted on a financial basis, it makes sense to look for a financial motive. After all, they're not going to let me knock over someone's house just because my musical tastes are better.
posted by Bugbread at 3:52 PM on June 28, 2005

amberglow, Jenna and NotJenna was the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks!
posted by fenriq at 3:53 PM on June 28, 2005

Can you imagine the College Radio Empires starting in the US Midwest? bugbread, that idea is awesome.
posted by hototogisu at 3:54 PM on June 28, 2005

hototogisu: But what was so convenient about the property? Honestly. I didn't know where his house was before, although I knew Souter pretty much disappears into N.H. during the off-season.
posted by raysmj at 4:02 PM on June 28, 2005

Phó Shizzle Vietnam Memorial.....heh heh heh.
posted by tristeza at 4:06 PM on June 28, 2005

This was just a great way to illustrate how dumb that ruling was.

I'm no legal eagle, but clearly the ruling was just a state sanctioning of big-money strong-arming of the little guys.

posted by snsranch at 4:14 PM on June 28, 2005

for fenriq ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:15 PM on June 28, 2005

From The Volokh Conspiracy:

Update: I had posted this link facetiously but see that some commentors, both pro and con, are taking it more seriously. Retaliating against a judge for the good faith exercise of his duty is not only a bad idea, it violates the holding of Kelo itself, for the intent would be to take from A to give to B, in this case to punish A. I had considered deleting this post altogether--and perhaps this would still be a good idea--but, since other blogs had linked to it, decided instead to add this postscript.
posted by raysmj at 4:17 PM on June 28, 2005

raysmj writes "But what was so convenient about the property?"

Presumably, that it's Souter's house.
posted by Bugbread at 4:18 PM on June 28, 2005

It looks like Weare has a population of a bit under 8,000 people (that was my guess--it did honestly take a few minutes to find that number though).

The idea of a tiny, relatively affluent town in New Hampshire using eminent domain at all is ludicrous--and that's the crux of this "brief chuckle"-level humor.

I don't think it has anything to do with Souter personally--just that he owns land in such a place.
posted by hototogisu at 4:19 PM on June 28, 2005

Small towns exercise the power of eminent domain all the time. I don't know where you'd get the idea that eminent domain is reserved for metro area municipalities.
posted by raysmj at 4:23 PM on June 28, 2005

bugbread: I would assume that other justices own homes.
posted by raysmj at 4:24 PM on June 28, 2005

raysmj writes "bugbread: I would assume that other justices own homes."

Yes. Yes, they do.
posted by Bugbread at 4:28 PM on June 28, 2005

Because it's been my experience that small towns not lacking in landmass don't annex a single address worth of space to build a hotel.

This all goes back to the convenience of it--if we picked the property of a Justice that's in a valuable area--a beach front property or something, it might ring more truly, and maybe be more valuable as some kind of protest or valid point--but then again, this is just a joke...

You're right though--I shouldn't have gone quite as far as "using it at all"--that's definitely wrong.
posted by hototogisu at 4:30 PM on June 28, 2005

A single house wouldn't be worthy space for a hotel in most places, even in larger cities, unless you're talking about a really large lot. And I know nothing about the NH town before any of you told me. It's my understanding that a number of NH towns are fairly well off, compared with small towns in most of America, and greatly attractive to tourists.

In any case, my main and initial objection here was in line with the ones made at the site I linked above, and was perfectly reasonable.
posted by raysmj at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2005

Take his neighbor's houses as well.
posted by caddis at 4:44 PM on June 28, 2005

I don't think that's a safe assumption at all. I think they live in palaces in the sky.
posted by smackfu at 4:45 PM on June 28, 2005

amberglow, thanks. I never knew camo was so slimming! NotJenna looks great, kind of how Melissa Rivers should look if she hadn't been subjected to so much plastic surgery or whatever hyena used her face for a scratching post.
posted by fenriq at 4:45 PM on June 28, 2005

Bush is repeating some old speech of his right now on tv--sad.

anytime, fen : >
posted by amberglow at 5:01 PM on June 28, 2005

(or maybe it's one of his father's speeches?--message: i care, stay the course...)
posted by amberglow at 5:03 PM on June 28, 2005

My Mom ran into Justice Souter once at the grocery store. He was in the frozen food aisle. She told him he was doing a great job. He apparently looked quite shocked that anyone knew who he was.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:49 PM on June 28, 2005

You may remember Logan Darrow Clements as the kooky gubernatorial candidate in California.
posted by bbrown at 8:32 PM on June 28, 2005

Clements got 241 votes in the CA Guv race. Unless some well-heeled prankster comes forward, this is nothing but a stunt.

But I do love when libertarian kooks take jabs at stupidity, like this guy:

Who, unlike Clements, appears to actually have some money to throw at windmills.
posted by StewV at 9:37 PM on June 28, 2005

I think Freestar Media, LLC is a astroturfing operation. I love how the site has merchandise for sale and a helpful link to "distribute content".

I believe Justice Souter is a person of integrity and it makes me sick to see a "lets get Souter" Internet meme being pushed.

I would just like to remind my fellow liberals that during his tenure on the Court, Justice Souter has been a member of majority opinions protecting gay rights (Romer v. Evans 1996; Lawrence v. Texas 2003) protecting abortion rights (Casey v. Planned Parenthood 1992), and in the miniority in Bush v. Gore 2000.

Here are two excerpts from articles in the past year that about Justice Souter:

Souter Still a Mystery After 14 Years
Associated Press
May 5, 2004

In the 14 years since Souter arrived in the capital with his belongings in a U-Haul truck, he has shunned all perks that come with being a justice. No hobnobbing at exclusive parties, writing books or teaching in exotic locations.

He splits his time between a farm house off a dirt road in a small New Hampshire town and a tiny apartment in Washington. He drives a compact car. He eats yogurt at his desk for lunch.

His questions during arguments and his writings, as well as personal correspondence in the Blackmun papers, show an engaged, sensitive justice.

For example, when Souter thought a young court visitor was racially profiled in 1997 by police, he undertook a low-key investigation.

Recent law school graduate Raafat Toss had told Souter that when he approached Blackmun in the Supreme Court cafeteria, several officers physically restrained him and threatened him with arrest if he did not sit down.

Souter told Blackmun in a letter that he was disturbed by the "pretty awful" situation and was taking it up with court personnel. The records do not show how the matter was resolved.

"That to me says a lot about the man's concern - not only for the big picture of due process, but the little picture of due process in his own cafeteria," said Toss, an Egyptian-born lawyer in New York.

Thomas' Acceptance of Gifts Tops Justices
LA Times
December 30, 2004
(No longer available online)

But membership on the court offers perks in addition to the prestige and power unique to the role of the Supreme Court.

Nearly all the justices accept honorary memberships to private clubs, worth thousands of dollars annually. Most are Washington-area clubs that donate the memberships.

For example, Rehnquist and Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony M. Kennedy listed honorary memberships in the Washington Golf and Country Club, which they valued last year at $4,000. These sums appeared to be in line with annual membership fees for such clubs in the Washington area. However, a court spokesman said the rules don't require justices to disclose the initiation fees for joining such clubs, which can be far higher.

Because of inconsistencies in the way the justices reported their memberships, they were not included in the Times' tally of the value of their gifts.

Several justices also take lengthy, all-expenses-paid summer sojourns abroad where they are paid to lecture on the law. Locales have included Italy, the French Riviera and the Greek isles.

Justices Stephen G. Breyer and David H. Souter reported turning down all gifts and club memberships. Breyer has traveled to Paris, Barcelona, Spain, and Florence, Italy, on law school programs. But Souter has stayed home and checked the box marked "NONE" for gifts on his yearly disclosure forms. Thomas also routinely passes up the overseas trips.

posted by mlis at 9:40 PM on June 28, 2005 [1 favorite]

MLIS, The evening of the decision I sent a joking email to friends suggesting we should condemn John Paul Stevens' house to put up a strip club. Some other website came up with replacing Ruth Bader Ginsberg's house with a homeless shelter. Now this guy picks Souter. If there is one common theme between the three of us, it's....randomness. At least toward the pro-New London justices.

What's sickening about that?

I happen to think Thomas is a man of integrity, even when I strongly disagree with his viewpoint. And lord knows he's been targeted by things much worse than a silly internet meme that will be forgotten in a week.

It's a prank, a jab, maybe even a publicity stunt. But it's not serious, not going anywhere, and almost certainly not targeting your guy for any specific reason other than he made up 20% of the vote.
posted by StewV at 10:23 PM on June 28, 2005

The Souter one was really widespread. If you go into Google News, and type in something about Ginsburg (not erg--just for the record; -erg is the late poet to whom the justice is not related) and a homeless or homeless shelter, you won't find anything, but will you will for Souter and Liberty Hotel, several times over.
posted by raysmj at 11:09 PM on June 28, 2005

MLIS said I believe Justice Souter is a person of integrity...

A person of integrity would not have voted for a gross and uncconstitutional abuse of eminent domain. Souter, like almost everyone else in Washington, has no integrity given their complete, collective disregard for the constitution they have sworn to protect.
posted by 6550 at 11:31 PM on June 28, 2005

It is not unconstitutional, the Supremes have spoken.

I think the joke is funny, but I agree with MLIS that Souter is a person of integrity. If you define a person of integrity as someone who agrees with you %100 of the time then only your sycophants will have integrity. Something is just not right with that.
posted by caddis at 11:40 PM on June 28, 2005

Just because the supremes have spoken doesn't make it constitutional. They are humans that interpret the constitution and have not always been correct. One only needs to look at the history of segregation.

...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The thing is the land wasn't taken for public use so, regardless of what the supreme court said, it's not constitutional.

I don't define integrity as agreeing with me 100% of the time. But the only person in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch that I can think of off the top of my head who has integrity is Ron Paul. And I certainly don't agree with him 100% of the time; abortion is just one issue we would disagree on. But Ron Paul happens to be the only one I can think of that actually defends the constitution.
posted by 6550 at 12:13 AM on June 29, 2005

Ron Paul? Dr. No? I wonder if his heavy investment in gold futures has anything to do with his stumping for a return to the gold standard? Maybe he's just afraid that the criminal black people will steal his money if he liquifies his assets?

No, there's pretty much nobody on the hill who's 100% clean. As for the executive branch, well there you're talking about tens of thousands of government workers, surely there's a few good ones out there.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:36 AM on June 29, 2005

Here's the Ginsburg/homeless shelter thing. I think the Souter thing got more traction simply because sites like BoingBoing and MF picked it up.
posted by StewV at 7:03 AM on June 29, 2005

If being consistently insane is the measure of integrity, let's include Rev. Moon, eh?

Ron Paul. Ha, ha, ha, ha. *gasping*

The very notion of using a Texan as a standard of integrity is the best laugh I've had all day. But then again, I'm a racist: I hate the Texans. And the French.

Ron Paul. Bwahahaha! Oh, please! Stop! I can't take it any more. *collapses in corner gibbering*
posted by warbaby at 7:21 AM on June 29, 2005

Drudge ran with this too. It's been everywhere, really quickly.

It actually really will take some prominent person being bitten on the ass with this for it to change. The Supremes showed they don't particularly care for the less-poor's property rights.

I also wonder what will happen regarding this when the housing bubble they're always talking about will burst.
posted by amberglow at 7:43 AM on June 29, 2005

The Ginsburg one sounds more pissed off too, and Souter is mentioned in it. The people targeted are the liberal justices, and not all those who had something to do with the decision. It's interesting, by the way, that the discussion of this post was much more insightful at a conservative, legal-oriented blog.

Meanwhile, it's not at all difficult to have problems with Texas and its government, but not all the individuals in the state (you're throwing out Larry McMurtry, and gosh knows how many great musicians, and the only liberal columnist whose stuff is printed in red state newspapers, Molly Ivins, with the bathwater?).
posted by raysmj at 7:44 AM on June 29, 2005

At the very least, it's a bizarre redefinition of "public."
posted by warbaby at 7:45 AM on June 29, 2005

that's the problem--the justices should clearly delineate what "public use" entails, since it's a Constitutional thing.

As it stands now, more economic revenue than existing structures=public use.
posted by amberglow at 8:31 AM on June 29, 2005

amberglow: Isn't it sort of like pornography? Have you really thought about where you'd draw the line? The more I thought about this case, the more I think the Supreme majority had no choice, given precedent, And O'Connor, who usually goes with the states on everything (including marijuana), who struck down a federal gun law on the grounds that states had police powers, is saying the judicial system should become the main player--the ultimate go-to body--in such a basic affair of self-governance as local planning?

Caring, by the way, is not the grounds on which to make a judicial decision. Brown v. Board was argued on more or less morally neutral grounds for precisely this reason.
posted by raysmj at 8:55 AM on June 29, 2005

I think you can very easily draw the line. It has to benefit the general public in the area, and be accessible to that public (like parks and roads and hospitals), and provide for free entry to that public--all things office buildings and private golf clubs and resorts don't do. In addition, it can't discriminate or otherwise violate all the other laws regarding other public places.
posted by amberglow at 9:01 AM on June 29, 2005

But if you're a justice, you have a precedent going back hundreds of years that won't allow you to just pull that definition out of your ass--which is what you'd be doing. You're not being serious in outlawing any sort of private operation whatsoever. (And even plenty of public buildings and parks require payment for services, including parks, museums and auditoriums, etc., at the city, state and federal level.)
posted by raysmj at 9:09 AM on June 29, 2005

I can't go running around most city office buildings either. If I try to swim at the local civic natatorium without paying, I'll be tossed in the pokey, at least for a day.
posted by raysmj at 9:18 AM on June 29, 2005

Just because the supremes have spoken doesn't make it constitutional. They are humans that interpret the constitution and have not always been correct. One only needs to look at the history of segregation.

humans wrote the constitution, too! In fact, the constitution itself condones slavery, not just segregation, so let's not pretend the document is infallible or anything. The constitution is a way to make sure that all decisions are heavily reflective and conform with certain basic principles, but interpreting the constitution is a necessary part of reading & applying it. Can't avoid that...
posted by mdn at 9:32 AM on June 29, 2005

Pollomacho, I'm sure there are a few good people in the federal government but I just don't know who they are.

mdn, I understand the constitution is a human written document and condoning slavery was untenable. My point on segregation was that it was something that had been reinterpreted. But reinterpretation to address a previous error is one thing. The current court did not do that, as warbaby said "it's a bizarre redefinition of "public."

raysmj, I don't really understand where you're coming from in this thread. Is it the singling out of Souter that got to you? The others are equally culpable.
posted by 6550 at 10:04 AM on June 29, 2005

6550: I'm coming from a perfectly reasonable place, and stated exactly what it was that bothered me before. Go back and read. And there is no redefinition in this case.
posted by raysmj at 10:26 AM on June 29, 2005

[Hoping Raysmj tries to swim at the local civic natatorium without paying]
posted by Outlawyr at 10:43 AM on June 29, 2005

Oh, god forbid I should disagree with you.
posted by raysmj at 10:45 AM on June 29, 2005

You find the idea punitive I guess is the issue. And also not funny which isn't an issue.

But how is this not redefinition? This is not public use in any shape or form, regardless of the fact that some facilities do have fees to use them.
posted by 6550 at 10:51 AM on June 29, 2005

I've already told you how I believe it's not not, and it's not an out-there argument whatsoever. You can go back and read what I've said, you can read my earlier statements and links for answers to this and your previous question, etc., meanwhile, and you can read what others have said on metafilter. When I'm insulted for disagreeing with the majority opinion, instead of confronted with a legitimate argument, it's time to move on.
posted by raysmj at 10:58 AM on June 29, 2005

Well, I hope you don't feel I've insulted you! If so, that wasn't my intention at all.

What really gets me is the continuing erosion of the fundamental check on government at all levels. This latest decision is just a symptom of a disease that's been growing for a long time.
posted by 6550 at 11:10 AM on June 29, 2005

6550: It wasn't you. I'm frustrated with my inability to make a comment that goes against the grain here without someone chiming about how I should be arrested or die, etc., when I've posted here frequently and should have left anyone with the idea that I'm authoritarian in my political leanings, exactly. I honestly do think decisions of this level, and change at this level, would be best handled at the local and state level--there is a check, and it belongs to the people. You already have members of Congress working out plans to redefine public use. But action will be more effective at the state and local level (in fact, you can reign in eminent domain, I believe, under the municipal charters of some, if not many or most, states). The Court said here that precedent didn't allow it to exercise a check. There are many interesting discussions of this going on at legal sites, including some linked here and at an earlier thread. It's a fascinating case. And, as noted before, I'm as perturbed by public-private partnerships as any much of the time. (And, by the way, I agreed with Sandy O. about the federal gun control law, and the marijuana case.)
posted by raysmj at 11:33 AM on June 29, 2005

It's not a prank. The AP just covered it, and proceedings are to begin soon.

This is very real.
posted by vanadium at 12:04 PM on June 29, 2005

And police have been stationed outside Souter's residence for protective purposes, given that the justice's address has been listed on various websites in posts about this. That's not particularly amusing.
posted by raysmj at 12:20 PM on June 29, 2005

What you said changes at the state and local levels hit a nerve. Politically I identify most with the libertarians although they would probably consider me on fringe and pretty extreme. A lot of people with similar thinking to mine decry the expansionist federal government and any decisions made by it (legistlative, judicial, etc). But we collectively ignore local government and, to a lesser extent, state government where we have the most chance of making changes. Local government abuses emiment domain? Make sure the abusers aren't reelected or reappointed.
posted by 6550 at 12:22 PM on June 29, 2005

correction: said about changes

It seems pretty unlikely that they will be succesful. I'm not sure what incentive the town will have to sieze his property.
posted by 6550 at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2005

Increased revenue, no?
posted by Bugbread at 6:44 PM on June 29, 2005

6550 - If you haven't noticed, the Supremes have the privilege of telling us what is constitutional and what is not. If they say it is constitutional, then it is until they change their minds. You may disagree with them, but their opinion is the one which counts.
posted by caddis at 9:20 PM on June 29, 2005

Connecticut's legislature is revisiting their statutes and stuff because of the ruling...hopefully many others will too, but doesn't a Supreme Court ruling overrule them?
posted by amberglow at 9:30 PM on June 29, 2005

The city's right to condemn under eminent domain derives from the state. Connecticut has a statute that allowed this sort of condemnation, and the SCt decision basically states that this statute is constitutional. The state is free to change its statute to be more restrictive.
posted by caddis at 10:05 PM on June 29, 2005

A few things:

The guy proposing this got face-time on Hannity/Colmes tonight. He had heavy 5pm shadow and sounded slightly loopy. He says money is pouring the 241 votes he got in a feeble attempt at CA Guv. Hell, I have more cousins in Mississippi than this guy has voters in his home state.

H/C asked him why Souter? He replied hotels can become a chain, obviously. But his main point was Souter was a Republican selection. Clements seems to expect liberal justices to be against him, but conservatives should know better. Souter is a turncoat in his world.

Ray, how about we use this as a rule-of-thumb?

If the land taken becomes g'mint property and/or mostly g'mint controlled, that may justifiably be called "public use," right?

If the land taken is deeded to a private entity, and/or is mostly controlled by the private entity, is that NOT "public use?"
posted by StewV at 10:07 PM on June 29, 2005

Fuckin' a. From what it sounds like, this is the first time this dude has ever paid attention to the Court. I don't think he'd know Souter's voting history if it came up and slapped him around a little.
posted by Snyder at 3:04 AM on June 30, 2005

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