Daily Brushback: SC redefines “public”

Today’s question is for Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer.

LP: Today you ruled in favor of a pack of land developers in Connecticut, and in doing so radically overturned hundreds of years of precedent and policy regarding the primacy of property ownership in America. Specifically, you stomped the final clause of the Fifth Amendment, which reads: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Your ruling today appears to redefine the word “public,” which has heretofore referred to governmental or civic projects intended to benefit the general citizenry as opposed to wealthy private – that is to say, corporate and business – interests.

Since the Court is now holding that property may be taken for the purpose of private development, and that any eventual benefit to the citizenry need only accrue at some future date if individuals or organizations are financially able to purchase a stake in the resultant development, can you please tell us in what way the word “public” now differs from the word “corporate”?

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11 thoughts on “Daily Brushback: SC redefines “public”

  1. Good lord…things get crappier by the minute these days, don’t they?
    I really don’t think these people or anyone in the Bush crime family gives a damn about the Constitution, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and Scalia use it as toilet paper…these people make me sick.

  2. This is the worst attack on our property rights ever. Property rights are a foundation of our freedom, and now they’ve been compromised.
    I’ve got to read the minority opinion. I hope Scalia wrote it.
    Aloha,
    Jeff

  3. Dude – look at who voted how. It was the usual suspects (Scalia, Rehnquist, Thomas) who were RIGHT this time. It was Clinton appointees that fucked this one up.
    Scary – replace one Clinton appointee with whoever Bush nominates for the next opening and the Court probably gets this one right.

  4. replace one Clinton appointee with whoever Bush nominates for the next opening and the Court probably gets this one right.
    Of course, you risk getting a lot of others wrong at the same time.

  5. Right. And this is why we need a BALANCED Court. If I’m doing the appointing you’ll have a couple Scalias, a Marshall or two, and at least three O’Connors.

  6. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve agreed with Scalia and Thomas, but this is definitely one of them. It’s an appalling decision. O’Connor gets it absolutely right when she states that “[n]othing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”
    I should probably just shut up and acknowledge that what’s good for Corporate America must be good for me, even if it means I end up living out on the street because they’ve put a 7-11 where my home used to be.
    –debby

  7. I started to say you could at least live in a box, but that probably wouldn’t be good for the “public,” so they could claim it via eminent domain….

  8. This decision, along with the majority/minority split, just baffles me. How is it that I find myself siding with those I usually see as the Supreme Court villains?

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