thoughtomation

removing the "mis" from information

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Joe Citizen

Government. You may loathe it, but it will diligently take two dollars of every five you make. It will then proceed to take those dollars, waste nine of ten, and assert its right to more.

In 2005, we have officially reached the era of the post-Constitutional government with Kelo v. New London, a remarkable Supreme Court decision which struck down the part of the Fifth Amendment that reads:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The final phrase "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" implies that the only permitted taking of property is for public use. In Kelo the city of New London asserted eminent domain for private use, on the grounds that the anticipation of an increase in tax revenue constituted public use.

The Supreme Court ruled for the city of New London.


I'm particularly unconcerned for the legal reasoning behind this decision. The modern process of legal reasoning has demonstrated that it does not consider itself bound by law, but may rather do as it wishes, insisting the law must then follow. The direct practical effect of this decision is that a government may now take your house to sell to a richer person on the grounds that someone who makes more money than you will pay more in taxes (the exact same reasoning as in Kelo).

The indirect practical effect is that, if this is accepted by the other branches of government, the Supreme Court has arrogated the power to nullify the Constitution.

(to be continued...)

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