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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: So Much for the Ownership Society

Thursday, June 23, 2005

So Much for the Ownership Society

Eric Cowperthwaite is compiling responses from other blogs (click here and here) regarding today’s disturbing Supreme Court Ruling. It seems like we are all on the same page on this issue; with the death of property rights, it is indeed a very dark day in the history of this great Republic.

I want to stress the word Republic one more time. The founders intended the government to be based on a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. Unfortunately, far too many people believe we do live in a Democracy. What does this have to do with eminent domain? In a Democracy rights (in this case, property rights) can be voted away with a majority vote. In a Republic such as ours, our rights are supposed to be protected by the Constitution (the Rule of Law).

Perhaps the Republic is dead. We have degenerated from a Republic which respects the Rule of Law to a Democracy which respects the Rule of Men. Maybe it is something even more sinister than that. If one has enough money, he can buy influence in the political arena. This is why there is so much concern with Tom DeLay’s alleged activities. Unfortunately, Tom DeLay is not the exception but the rule. I am surprised DeLay’s activities even raised an eyebrow much less an investigation because the Democrats are every bit as guilty.

Besides this whole Democracy trap and influence-buying trap we have fallen into, it also seems we have lost focus on our priorities. It is absolutely dumbfounding to me that there are enough citizens in this country who have the attention of our politicians to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage or ban desecrating the flag (I suppose nobody cares if the Constitution is desecrated by either of these ridiculous proposed amendments) but apparently, there is no such enthusiasm to amend the Constitution to protect private property rights.

With the SCOTUS using their current interpretation of eminent domain, I think amending the constitution is the only answer to reverse this atrocious decision. The language must be clear enough that even Stevens, Ginsberg, and Kennedy can understand; here is my proposed amendment:

Section 1: Eminent domain shall not be construed to allow any government within the United States to take property from one private citizen, corporation, or organization to be given or sold to any other citizen, corporation, or organization for any reason. The Federal government shall only invoke eminent domain in order to carry out the necessary functions of government as enumerated in this Constitution.

Section 2: ‘Just compensation’ shall be defined as no less than double the fair market value of the property being taken for local, State, and Federal governments to carry out their legally prescribed functions.

Section 3: No government within the jurisdiction of the United States shall invoke eminent domain with the purpose of generating additional revenue.
Anyone else with me on this?

8 Comments:

Blogger Brad Warbiany said...

Wow, the death of property rights is enough to pull you off "My water broke" alert, huh?

I'm with you on your amendment. That sounds like a very good idea, especially the part about "just compensation" being double market value. That won't really government folks pause, since it's just our tax dollars paying for it. But it will make sure that the people under the thumb of government are at least getting a good deal out of being tossed off their property.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Stephen Littau said...

Brad, I'm still very much on the 'my water broke alert' lol.

This is just one of those issues that just makes my blood boil. I've been monitoring this case since SCOTUS accepted it; I couldn't resist commenting. I think I'll even have more to say tomorrow.

5:29 PM  
Blogger brian said...

I'm with you, Steve...

10:08 PM  
Blogger Brad Warbiany said...

I've linked you here.

If there's anything else I can do to push this, let me know.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

With a bit of tweaking, that's an excellent idea for an amendment. Article 2 will never fly as written, but "fair market value" does need to be defined. (And you mis-spelled "eminent" in that one.)

Nonetheless, a great idea. We plan to pass this along to our congresscritters, along with a suggestion to impeach the five traitors who sold out.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Dus10 D said...

It is a crying shame. I think the Republic is dead. The Republic started its demise soon after the Constitution and the Bills of Rights were ratified. I commented on your Fair Tax post about the 16th and 17th Amendments. Those too were assaults on our Republic.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Stephen Littau said...

How do you figure that the Bill of Rights was an assault on the Republic? You are not suggesting that if we repealed the Bill of Rights our Republic would be in better shape are you? I would love to hear your reasoning on this one.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really don't believe eminent domain
and a free society are compatible.
I believe that this along with Issuing debt should have been scheduled to be removed when things settled down .
Should of been temporary.

7:25 PM  

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