"The King Is Dead…"

“…Long live the King!”
You might want to get used to hearing those words….because the Supreme Court Of The United States, for all intent and purposes, declared the Fifth Amendment “null and void” today. The complete SCOTUS decision can be read here.
At first glance, it appears to be a reasonable decision. After all, the public at large will, in theory, benefit from the proposed “economic development plan” put forth by the city of New London, and or it’s approved agents.
But, in taking time to read the dissenting arguments, you will see what really happened today. In short today the highest court in the land effectively “killed” the Fifth Amendment. Don’t believe me? Read on…and read the whole Court Document above.

…”Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded—i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public—in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings “for public use” is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property—and thereby effectively to delete the words “for public use” from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”….
…”Theirs is an objection in principle: They claim that the NLDC’s proposed use for their confiscated property is not a “public” one for purposes of the Fifth Amendment. While the government may take their homes to build a road or a railroad or to eliminate a property use that harms the public, say petitioners, it cannot take their property for the private use of other owners simply because the new owners may make more productive use of the property.”

The dissencting Justices also addressed allowing for private entities to gain or have control of said properties….with the extreme stretching of the phrase “public use” (specifically “use”). It is a bit more challenging, but none the less, strikes at the heart of what should be looked at as the end result of an incremental reinterpretation of what the Constitution specifically says.

The public purpose interpretation of the Public Use Clause also unnecessarily duplicates a similar inquiry required by the Necessary and Proper Clause. The Takings Clause is a prohibition, not a grant of power: The Constitution does not expressly grant the Federal Government the power to take property for any public purpose whatsoever. Instead, the Government may take property only when necessary and proper to the exercise of an expressly enumerated power.
THOMAS, J., dissenting

Indeed, Justice Thomas goes on at length, detailing what was originally intended by the specific phrasing of the Fifth Amendment, particularly regarding “actual use” and “Use”. Ultimately, Justice Thomas reaches this conclusion…

The Court is therefore wrong to criticize the “actual use” test as “difficult to administer.” Ante, at 8. It is far easier to analyze whether the government owns or the public has a legal right to use the taken property than to ask whether the taking has a “purely private purpose”– unless the Court means to eliminate public use scrutiny of takings entirely. Ante, at 7–8, 16–17. Obliterating a provision of the Constitution, of course, guarantees that it will not be misapplied.
THOMAS, J., dissenting

And produces this timely reminder of the true, honest, and once noble purpose of the Supreme Court.

When faced with a clash of constitutional principle and a line of unreasoned cases wholly divorced from the text, history, and structure of our founding document, we should not hesitate to resolve
the tension in favor of the Constitution’s original
THOMAS, J., dissenting

If we had more Justices following this simple and direct challenge, in carrying out their duties as Supreme Court Justices, we would never have to discuss the “unintended consequences” of past rulings. And we would not have to change our collective national pronoun from “citizen” to “subject”. The State now has the right to your property if they feel they know better how to use same then you do. It’s just that simple. Ah well, one Amendment down, nine more to go. How many more have to go, before we unite and put an end to this?
UPDATE Corrected a bit of content which should have been caught before posting. But did not change the tone or theme of this post. Also, and more importantly, Eric has started a list of those who are also up in arms about this…check it out. Is *this* going to be our collective wake up call?



Filed under Constitution

4 responses to “"The King Is Dead…"

  1. More Reactions to Kelo

    A round up of the reactions to Kelo v. New London, today’s Supreme Court decision that dramatically extended the powers of government and shredded the 5th Amendment. My own response and my earlier post on the value of Originalism. Brad…

  2. Tom Perkins

    ONE amendment down! Where you been?
    I think the 3rd is the only part of the BOR intact right now.

  3. Imminent Domain

    I’ve been asked to bloviate on the Supremes’ surprising coup-de-grace to the concept of property rights in these U.S. That’s pretty easy for me, really. If I own property, and I’m looking to sell it, the government may make me an offer, which I will co…

  4. What Fifth Amendment?

    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…

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