We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
First, the United States has a long history of allowing private land to be taken and turned over or sold to for-profit corporations. If this could not have been done, there could never have been any railroads in the country that were not public agencies. Can the dear reader even imagine an economic development of the US interior by Conrail and Amtrak?
Second, and more important, is that the US Supreme Court in its Kelo decision merely decided to defer to state law. How many times do we conservatives complain when the Court overturns yet another state law for a newly discovered but unwritten federal “right”? If we in Connecticut do not like our eminent domain law which was passed by a majority of our state legislators and signed by our governor, we have a legislative solution and should not be rushing to Federal courts to ask that our legislature be overruled!
Just think about the number of times we have been furious that the Anointed Nine in Washington have overturned yet another long-standing state law for transgressing yet another unwritten right, and shout, write or (now) blog the words of the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
We have to confront a serious question: is our concern for states’ rights limited to state actions of which we approve? If so, we must then accept our hypocrisy and join the liberals in acknowledging that having an end result we like is more important than the legal niceties of getting there, and watch as the Age of the Rule of Law comes to an end.
Photo: Our recently-new Maggie's Farm contributor Kondratiev.We are fortunate to have such an eminent fellow on board. He meets our criteria, which are that he can shoot, write grammatically most of the time, and plow a straight furrow on our CT tobacco farm, with two cranky mules.
You miss the point on Kelo (and even Justice O'Connor dissented vehemently. If you have not read her dissent, I suggest you do so). Kelo allowed a municipal government to make the determination that the use of the site for a commercial improvement, was more proper than than the existing use as a house. This was a fundamental overruling of one of the basic concepts of private property and the protection of those rights as written in the Constitution. The idea of rr GRANTS of land is completely different than condemnation for PRIVATE enrichment, in this case on the part of Pfizer. I don't generally disagree with you Bird Dog, but on this one, you are wrong to support Kelo.
RR takings included in the deeded rights the GUARANTEE that the property, if it stopped being used as a RR MUST be returned to the original owners. I work for the NJDOT and spend a fair amount of time researching heirs & assignees for just such a reason.
Since we cannot find many, the State retains ownership, but must hold it and cannot sell it, transfer it etc........
The Constitution does not say that government can take private land and give it to private citizens or businesses. I'm for states rights as long as it does not supersede the Constitution. Kelo should be overturned.
A discussion of eminent domain and the RR role in westward expansion is beyond my humble brain power. Possibly the editor of Maggies could research and put forward a piece.
Private property rights are near and dear to all true conservatives. Indeed, they date back to the Magna Carta. From an economic standpoint, they are the main thing (along with a belief in the superiority of markets) that has allowed our economy to become what it is today. See Greenspan's book on the importance of private property rights.
Kelo was a bad decision. Not that I'm a fan of the job Congress does on most things, but as soon as the decision came down, many, many bills with lots of supporters were passed to limit the effect (s) of Kelo.
Finally, eminent domain is a Constitutional questions. That is the US Constitution. It trumps State Constitutions.
[i]Private property rights are near and dear to all true conservatives. Indeed, they date back to the Magna Carta.[i/]
They date further back than 1215, the Anglo-Saxons individually OWNED their lands before the 1066 invasion which made them serfs. Magna carta helped a little to restore land rights but we are still living with the consequences of Norman views on Sovereigns and Subjects.
The granting of land for westward expansion was the granting of federal land. I think Dr Kondratiev is referring to the taking of inner city properties to bring the railroad to Grand Central Station or any other central city depot.