A good sign in Arkansas on Property Confiscation ruling


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hillbilly
June 24, 2005, 10:13 PM
Tonight, the local CBS affiliate ran a bunch of stories about the idiotic Supreme Court ruling.

While Arkansas has been listed as a state with a law prohibiting such taking, several attorneys and local officials interviewed tonight said that Arkansas' law is pretty much exactly like Connecticut's law.

All interviewed said that the terms "blight" and "public use" could be now construed to mean pretty much whatever anyone wanted them to mean.

But the good news is this. KFSM is running an opinion poll on if the government should be able to confiscate private property to be given to private developers.

Two hours and 14 minutes into the poll being open, the NO votes are outstripping the YES votes by a margin of 100% thus far.

http://www.kfsm.com/Global/category.asp?C=11599&nav=2uEG&pass=1#poll48199

Have you ever seen a poll like this run at 100%?

hillbilly

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TrybalRage
June 24, 2005, 10:22 PM
To be honest, the way the poll swings in neither a surprise nor interest to me, I am concerned with the number of people voting.

I told 5 or 6 people yesterday about the ruling who had no idea.

Kim
June 24, 2005, 11:19 PM
This really chaps my hide. My family has land that was homesteaded way back when. Somehow they held on to it through thick and thin and passed it down generation after generation. It is not valuable land but it has always been the most important thing to my family. My father made dang sure that this legacy would go on ---------the land and family has been written in my heart as the important things in life. It is always there to go to as a safe place, a secure place. My father worked his entire life for this idea and I would lay down my life to defend it. He was a simple man and a good man.He donated land for the community cementary and gave land to widen a dirt road for the safety of school buses. My family lives on this land. Some earn their living on it and most hunt,shoot and fish and enjoy it. I have never been so angry at the government as I am now and I'm afraid for the first time in my life. The terrorists,Hitler, communists could not have made me so afraid as I am now--------and angry. :what:

armoredman
June 25, 2005, 12:26 AM
Yes, be afraid - that could become a planned golf course, or private resort. How many movies were made about the little guy refusing to sell to a developer, and huge buildings made over a little cottage? Saw that in live movie and cartoon....not anymore. Cottage gets bulldozed, Grandma is kicked to the curb with a check from Uncle Sam, and if she cashes it, that money can then be taken from her as DRUG MONEY!!!! So, the devolper gets what he wants, Uncle Sugar gets his money back, and Grandma goes, well, they don't care where she goes, just go quietly.....

campergeek
June 25, 2005, 12:31 AM
and if she cashes it, that money can then be taken from her as DRUG MONEY!!!!

I was hanging with you until this part, which I don't understand. Did I miss a thread somewhere?

...or did you mean to imply that she would keep the money in a coffee can? If so, then I understand. :evil:

P95Carry
June 25, 2005, 12:51 AM
I think the ''drug money'' ref' is simply to do with the Feds being able to see a large transaction of money and ''assume'' it has to be drug related income!

Far fetched and maybe here a cynical comment but - seeing as the start of the whole ''process'' would be seemingly so unstoppable right now - it seems suitably cynical to think that if you got to the stage of a (desultory) pay-off - even then you might be in trouble!

Things are getting VERY screwed up. The ''them and us'' divide is getting ever wider it seems. No-win situations coming from all sides.

Old Fuff
June 25, 2005, 02:02 PM
The Old Fuff would observe that if the people who are rightfully concerned would get on they're senators' butts so that the Democrats couldn't filibuster every conservative candidate who is up for appointment to a judgeship (including the Supreme Court) we wouldn't see this kind of decision.

Also there is nothing to prevent a new federal law being passed that prohibits this kind of confiscation of private property for commercial development.

So don't just get mad! Do something. In this matter, the Congress can tell the Supreme Court where the line is drawn.

If they are persuaded by angry constituents to do it ... :cuss:

Gifted
June 25, 2005, 04:06 PM
I was hanging with you until this part, which I don't understand. Did I miss a thread somewhere? I just read it. Some woman went from Boston to Texas to get plastic surgury. She decided to put 47K in her bra for the trip, and they confiscated it.

johnster999
June 25, 2005, 10:31 PM
I also thought AR law might protect our little 10 acre piece for the short term. If the law is anything like Conn, however, I guess it was just false hope.

From:
http://www.kfsm.com/Global/story.asp?S=3514365&nav=2uEGbQ4P

Arkansas Municipal League director Don Zimmerman called the ruling a "great victory" for local government. Zimmerman said the ruling would enable local governments to more easily attract major employers.

Another example of the mindset in question. God save America.

999

JB in SC
June 25, 2005, 10:39 PM
Private development should not be allowed to use eminent domain, period.

hillbilly
June 25, 2005, 10:52 PM
So far, I have called the offices of my Congressional rep and both the senators from Arkansas and expressed my "outrage" at the Supreme Court ruling.

Thanks for posting that story, Johnster999.

Don Zimmerman is a name that now bears watching.

hillbilly

Cellar Dweller
June 26, 2005, 04:46 AM
Also there is nothing to prevent a new federal law being passed that prohibits this kind of confiscation of private property for commercial development.

According to four of the justices and 80-95% of those polled (depending on the poll), THERE ALREADY IS A FEDERAL LAW SPELLED OUT THAT PROHIBITS THIS KIND OF CONFISCATION called the Fifth Amendment :banghead:

Old Fuff
June 26, 2005, 10:43 AM
Cellar Dweller:

Unfortunately, The current Supreme Court has the power to say what the 5th amendment (as well as everything else that in the Constitution) means. What we and others think doesn't matter.

UNLESS ...

We pressure Congress into passing a law that specifically prohibits confiscation of private property for commercial uses.

And ...

Elect senators that will confirm, not stonewall Justice candidates who will uphold the Constitution as the framers planed it to be.

Johnnybgood
June 26, 2005, 12:24 PM
to impeach, defrock or remove those 5 from the bench and not let them ever practice law again. Tomorrow I follow up with phone calls and letters. I am also writing the president and my Legislatures here in Illanoy to pass a law prohibiting such behavior here. If enough of us get really mad and start acting like CITIZENS and not just gripe about in on these boards maybe we can get something done. I also talked to my co-workers yesterday. I can't believe it, most of them knew nothing about it. :banghead:

JB in SC
June 26, 2005, 01:21 PM
The problem needs to be addressed at the State and Local level. Based on what I've read, it was the state constitution that allows such seizure.

South Carolina's constitution offers more protection for landowners than federal law. Our Supreme Court has already ruled that even though there may be significant public benefit to a project, that is not enough to use the eminent domain power.

There is already an effort to bring even more protection for landowners in the next General Assembly session. The Democrats are on board, one saying, "that's the most asinine ruling the (US) Supreme Court has made in the history of the country."

Bravo....

Ian
June 26, 2005, 02:02 PM
How many SCOTUS desicions like this will it take before people realize that the law, no matter what it says, will not protect an individual from the government?

Control Group
June 27, 2005, 01:49 PM
How many SCOTUS desicions like this will it take before people realize that the law, no matter what it says, will not protect an individual from the government?
It took me until Raich to come to this conclusion, but it shouldn't have. Once I hit that point and started looking around, I began to wonder how I had missed it. Everywhere you look, the plain and obvious intent of the founders is systematically perverted:

McCain-Feingold isn't just a violation of the First, it's the specific violation the framers wrote the amendment to prevent!

NFA, GCA '68, the AWB. "[S]hall not infringed" isn't exactly hard to interpret.

I don't know of any soldiers being quartered in private homes without permission...but then, that might be because we now have the standing army the founders didn't want. The third may not be routinely violated, but only because it's become unnecessary to do so.

No-knock warrants, asset forfeiture before determination of guilt, and the oft-cited coffee can. So much for the Fourth.

I don't think I need to really demonstrate how the Fifth has been destroyed just now.

Colorado's policy that, for trials where the maximum sentence is less than six months' jail time, the defendant doesn't have the right to a jury trial puts paid to the Sixth.

I think the Seventh may still be intact. I'm unaware of any civil suit with a value greater than $20 where right to a jury was denied. But I might just have missed it.

"Excessive" and "cruel and unusual" are terms open enough to interpretation that it's difficult to clearly demonstrate violations of the Eigth. One might look at the percentage of prison inmates doing time on drug possession charges, and conclude that it's disproportionate. This might indicate "excessive," but it's not as clear cut as the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth.

The Ninth has been so completely violated it's difficult to demonstrate that it has been, since it's just the natural order of things in most people's minds. Which is itself the clearest possible indication that we've strayed from its intent.

And, of course, ditto the above for the Tenth.

sm
June 27, 2005, 02:30 PM
How many SCOTUS desicions like this will it take before people realize that the law, no matter what it says, will not protect an individual from the government?

If a politician's mouth is open and there is an utterance - most likely a LIE will be heard.

Pulaski County, Arkansas, well hell they have stealing property forever, I am sure this SCOTUS ruling just makes them snicker. Do a Teoma search on Alltell Arena, Clinton Library, Mr. Pfeifer ( who was screwed royally) and most any "River Market Downtown Improvements and Renovations". That will keep one busy. Oh there are lots more...

If you come to the River Market, or visit the Library, lock guns and valuables in the hotel safe. You cannot carry anything into the Library. If you lock your vehicle, take the shuttle, well the BGs bust your windows to get your CCWs, nail files and wife's tampons. The security cameras...do not catch the crooks, be they Politicians, or street thugs.

Library security and checkpoints make TSA look like kindergarten.

Arkansas Land of Opportunity - for Criminals. Hell we hold elections and vote some into office...to show how you stupid we are. Rite of passage is to steal property for gubmint or personal gain...

Father Knows Best
June 27, 2005, 02:56 PM
Y'all are missing the great irony here. This ruling on property seizure is exactly what conservatives have been asking for.

See, you need to understand that the federal and state governments have always had the right to seize your property. It's called "eminent domain." The U.S. Constitition just imposes three major limits on that right: (1) your right to "due process of law"; (2) your right to "just compensation"; and (3) a restriction that the taking must be for the public good.

The first two limits have not been touched. The state cannot willy-nilly seize your property. First, it must go through a process by which it determines its need, and asks for permission to take the property. You can contest it. Property seizures are always lengthy and expensive propositions for the government, because they are challenged every step of the way in court. You can challenge whether the government really needs YOUR property.

Second, the government must pay "just compensation", which means fair market value. That ain't gonna replace the sentimental value of the family homestead, but it will give you enough to start over. Neither of those two things has changed.

The issue in this case was whether the courts will second-guess the executive and legislative branches when those branches declare that they are taking property for a "public purpose." The Supremes said that the courts wouldn't second-guess them. If the elected officials determine that the seizure is necessary for the public good, even if that means handing it to commercial interests for development, then the Courts aren't going to second-guess them or overrule them.

Here's the irony. When the courts overrule our elected officials, conservatives like to scream and yell about "activist judges" and how it's "undemocratic." Yet here we are with the Surpreme Court saying that it will not allow judges to overrule the decisions of elected officials, and the conservatives want to complain about it. So which is it? Do we want "activist judges" who will overrule our democratically elected officials, or do we want courts that will exercise deference and restraint? What's that? Oh, I see. The far right just wants judges that will be "activist" in their favor, but will be deferential whenever a liberal brings the lawsuit.

The solution is simple -- politics. If you believe that your elected officials are abusing their power by inappropriately exercising the right of eminent domain to take private property, then recall them, impeach them, don't re-elect them, whatever. You'll also still be able to run to the courts to challenge the necessity of the taking, and whether just compensation has been offered. You won't be able to run to the courts on this one question, however, which is whether the taking is for the public good.

hvengel
June 27, 2005, 03:30 PM
I know someone who is at least in some respects a flaming liberial. I remember about 2 years ago telling him that it was a fairly common practice for governments to take property and then turn around and sell/least that property to private developers. At that time he said I was crazy and that that sort of thing just did not/could not happen.

I happened to talk to him just after this ruling was anounced and he was totaly bent out of shape over it. When I pointed out that it was the court liberials that were responsible for the ruling he became silent (he didn't know who had voted which way on the court). Then I pointed out to him that I had talked to him about this several years ago and that he had dismissed my assursions as something that was simply not possible. Again he was silent. He went on to ask me what we might do to over turn the ruling.

So it appears that many liberials are very conerned about this ruling and I suspect that there are at least a few that are reexamining some of their view points.

I should add that this person has some views that are so conservative that even conseratives would consider these to be extreme. So his views are a real mixed bag way to the left on some issues and way to the right on others. But if you ask him if he is a conserative or liberial he will say something like "I am a Nancy Polosi liberial". So I am sure that he does not really understand that some of his views are really very conservative. But I am sure that he votes striaght democrate in every election.

Father Knows Best
June 27, 2005, 03:40 PM
It has indeed beein going on for a long time. I'm an attorney. About 10 years ago, I was practicing in Detroit. I worked on a large number of cases that were related to the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant project. Back in the 1980s, the City of Detroit exercised its power of eminent domain to take a huge parcel of land in East Detroit. Many hundreds of property owners were involved. The City paid millions and millions to take the property, and millions more to clean it up. It then turned over this pristine parcel to Chrysler Corporation to build a new assembly plant. Why? Because the City leaders thought it was "good for the City." It would means jobs, they said, and of course more tax revenue. After all, no one had built a new auto plant in Detroit since the 1950s.

I question whether it did anything of the sort. Like most modern auto plants, it employs a few hundred people at best. If you add up the jobs that were lost when scores of smaller businesses were forced to close up and move out, I bet the City LOST more jobs than it gained. In the meantime, a whole community was destroyed.

And the litigation goes on to this day. My piece was representing Conrail (the railroad) in several lawsuits over environmental cleanup costs. In the end, the only winner in the whole thing was Chrysler. It got a new site for a factory, pristine and free. Everyone else paid. That was 20 years ago, and it wasn't news back then, either.

Ian
June 27, 2005, 03:45 PM
The solution is simple -- politics. If you believe that your elected officials are abusing their power by inappropriately exercising the right of eminent domain to take private property, then recall them, impeach them, don't re-elect them, whatever.

People having been doing that for 230 years. All it does is ensure that all parties get a chance to violate peoples' rights in pursuit of their own particular agendas. One group shreds, say, the 2nd Amendment, so they get voted out and replaced by thier arch-opponents, who immediately shred the 4th Amendment. Back and forth, each group using the work of their predecesors to further their own injustices.

The problem is not the people in power. The problem is the power itself.

GunGoBoom
June 27, 2005, 03:46 PM
The Old Fuff would observe that if the people who are rightfully concerned would get on they're senators' butts so that the Democrats couldn't filibuster every conservative candidate who is up for appointment to a judgeship (including the Supreme Court) we wouldn't see this kind of decision.

Also there is nothing to prevent a new federal law being passed that prohibits this kind of confiscation of private property for commercial development.

So don't just get mad! Do something. In this matter, the Congress can tell the Supreme Court where the line is drawn.

Old Fuff, PLEASE don't be complicit in helping the 10th amendment be destroyed along with the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, etc.....What I mean is, yes of course the other poster is right that the judiciary (SCOTUS) *should have* used the U.S. Const. to prevent/limit this abuse of eminent domain by state/local govts. BUT, since they did NOT, then it is a correct course of action to change the law giving rise to the violation, more specifically defining what is a public use, to prevent further abuses. But this is the LOCAL law. We do NOT need a federal law that does ANYTHING as this has nothing to do with interstate commerce or the Congress's other enumated powers. What we need is to:

1. Contact state and local gov't officials and prompt them to pass legislation restricting the powers of eminent domain at the state and local levels, and
2. More importantly, impeach these SCOTUS justices who have abrogated their duty to the Contstitution, or, failing that, elect presidents that will appoint better ones as they retire....seems to me a very good reason to vote for Republican prez's, even though this particular arm of the Republicrat uniparty is otherwise quite repulsive of course (almost as repulsive as the other arm).

So, "write your critters" ==> right on
but "write your federal critters" ==> dead wrong - we need an extraordinarily smaller and more limited fedgov, which returns power to the states, where we might actually have a little bit of access and influence over politics & elections, which we desperately need as the population grows, to prevent complete disenfranchisement of the people from the remote central gov't. This is why Raich is such a crying shame given that it was also 5/4 - it is far far more wrongly decided than the eminent domain case - much more of a clear abrogation of the duty to defend the Constitution - a shameless vote of blind support of our fedgov's war on some drugs, at the expense of law, prededent, and logic, by the ordinarily-principled Scalia.

richyoung
June 27, 2005, 06:28 PM
When the courts overrule our elected officials, conservatives like to scream and yell about "activist judges" and how it's "undemocratic." Yet here we are with the Surpreme Court saying that it will not allow judges to overrule the decisions of elected officials, and the conservatives want to complain about it. So which is it? Do we want "activist judges" who will overrule our democratically elected officials, or do we want courts that will exercise deference and restraint?

I want justices who UPHOLD the "highest law of the land" - the Constitution. If that requires "activist" intervention to prevent government confiscation for private gain, so be it. If it means "restraint" from inventing govenrment powers via abuse of the interstate commerce clause and the "general welfare" clause, so be it. In short, I expect them to do the jobs they swore to do, and that we pay them to do - no more - no less.

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