In My Right Mind

"We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking." - Mark Twain

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Location: Universal City, Texas, United States

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

This Land Was Your Land, But Now It's My Land

Libertarian talk show host Neal Boortz had this on his website today:


Well, let's give credit to the Mayor and city officials of Freeport, Texas. They sure recognize an opportunity when it presents itself. These political predators didn't wait 24 hours after the Supreme Court's eminent domain decision before they struck .. .with a vengeance. Freeport officials have now ordered their city attorneys to prepare the documents to seize three pieces of waterfront property owned by two seafood companies. One of the seafood companies, a shrimp processing plant that has been there for well over 50 years, will have to cease business and close. While the seafood company owners are frowning, there's a big smile on the face of Dallas developer Hiram Walker Royall. He can now use the government to seize some property from a private landowner, and then buy that property from Freeport for a lot less than he would have had to pay the private owners. He'll then get to proceed with his plan for a nice privately owned marina.

Only in America --- thanks to our Supreme Court.

I don’t know about you, but this makes my blood boil!

Thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling on eminent domain, last Thursday, June 23 2005, the right of the common man to own his or her private property is now on shaky ground. The Supreme Court, with yet another questionable interpretation of the Constitution, has managed to take away one of our basic freedoms, arguably the most important.

In their infinite wisdom, they have interpreted the clause found in Amendment 5 of the Constitution that addresses the protection of a citizen's private property from seizure by the government on a whim, extending the meaning of the stipulation "for public use" to include tax revenue potential. This means that if the government sees a chance to get more tax revenue from your property, it can seize your property for "the good of the public".

Or, if somebody has his eye on your private property for commercial use, all he has to do if you won't sell it to him, is convince the local government that he can use the property in a way that will generate more tax revenue than your property is currently yielding. Then he can simply standby and wait, while the government seizes your property from you and sells it to him. The beauty of this deal is that there is little or nothing that you can do about it. All of this because, the Supreme Court has decided "for public use" can simply mean the opportunity for the government to gain even more tax revenue from your private property.

This isn't the first time the Supreme Court has made a highly questionable interpretation of the Constitution generating outcry from the public they are suppose to serve. "Separation of Church and State" has been the justification for such federal government intrusions as the banning of the display of the Ten Commandments on public property, prayer in public schools, denial of the use of government land by the Boy Scouts etc. However, if you read the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, nowhere do you find the phrase "separation of Church and State". It simply isn't there.

But hey, just because something isn't explicitly stated in the Constitution, doesn't mean that it can't be added de facto to support how particular Supreme Court Justices wish to interpret the Constitution. Just as the phrase "separation of Church and State" can't be found anywhere in Amendment 1 of the Constitution, neither is the mention of tax revenues in conjunction with "for public use" in Amendment 5. What we have here is yet another example of abuse committed by a branch of the Government that is functioning independent of any restraint.

The Founding Fathers of this country decided that the best way to keep a check on the government's power over the people it was instituted to serve, was to divide it into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. These three branches have their own individual roles and responsibilities and are suppose to provide for a system of checks and balances that serve to prevent one branch from becoming too powerful and overriding the other two.

As such, the balance of power in the government worked as intended until activist judges in the Supreme Court began the practice of legislating from the bench. By bypassing the Legislative Branch, these judges ensured that not only could they interpret the Constitution however they pleased, but they could also make their Constitutional interpretations the "law of the land." Probably the most famous example of this is the decision that the Supreme Court handed down in the Roe vs. Wade case in 1973.

The damage caused by this abuse of power remains to be seen, but we definitely have an imbalance of power now. These activist judges have not only hijacked the Legislative Branch's role in passing laws, their actions have also served to politicize the Supreme Court. We shouldn't have to fight for either a liberal or conservative majority in the Supreme Court. This is a perversion of what the Supreme Court's role was designed to be.

Justices are put there to safeguard the intent of the Constitution, regardless of their personal political opinion. Judges are supposed to be impartial, objective. When they allow their own opinions, agenda, prejudices to influence their decisions, they abuse the public trust.

It's time to fix this problem, and restore the three branches to their intended limits. Considering the abuses committed by the Supreme Court so far, maybe it's time to limit the term of its membership. Can we really afford to give some activist judge a lifetime stab at interpreting the Constitution according to his or her own political agenda?

If the issue of activist judges within the Supreme Court isn't dealt with, and the balance of power between the three federal branches of government restored soon, loss of the right of ownership of private property will be just the beginning of freedoms the government will rob from us.


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