Captain Corruption\'s Commentary

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Kelo stands.

The on Monday predictably refused to revisit its decision in the now infamous decision. Property rights in America are now more tenuous than ever. Heed the words of Justice Stevens, who defended his majority opinion in at an appearance in Las Vegas last week, saying the SCOTUS has "always allowed local policy-makers wide latitude in determining how best to achieve legitimate public goals."

Though he wrote the majority opinion Justice Stevens appeared wary of the implications of the Kelo decision:

"My own view is that the allocation of economic resources that result from the free play of market forces is more likely to produce acceptable results in the long run than the best-intentioned plans of public officials."

Most telling in my mind was his comment about those of us speaking our minds about Kelo:

"The public outcry that greeted (the ruling) is some evidence that the political process is up to the task of addressing such policy concerns."

What he's saying is the door is wide open for further abuse of , and it is up to us to stop it. So be it, folks. Stay vigilant!


Anonymous Supreme Court Zeitgeist said...

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4:09 PM  
Anonymous Stephen Macklin said...

The Open Source Amendment Project began in response to the Supreme Court decision in the case Kelo v. New London. The Supreme Court ruled in a 5 - 4 decision that the City of New London, CT could take several properties under eminent domain making the actions goal of increasing tax revenue a Constitutionally valid public use under the Fifth Amendment.

The Project began with a draught amendment posted to the weblog Hold The Mayo ( by its author Stephen R. Macklin. The Project then actively sought input from other bloggers interested in protecting property rights. "There are a lot of very smart people on the internet and writing weblogs," Macklin said. "If that intellectual power can be harnessed we can craft an amendment that will address the damage done to property rights by the Supreme Court in the Kelo decision."

After much debate via weblog comments at Hold The Mayo and other weblogs, and numerous revisions, The Open Source Amendment Project has released its final amendment and a petition to Congress to amend the Constitution.

The President of the United States.
The Vice President of The United States
The Members of the United States Senate
The Members of the United States House of Representatives
The Members of the United States Supreme Court

In the Declaration of Independence the founders of this great nation wrote, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” They also built into the structure of our government a process by which we the people can seek to change the nature and function of our government without abolishing it and beginning again.

We the undersigned agree with our founders that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed and feel that our government has exceeded the bounds of that consent. We believe that the recent decision of the Supreme Court regarding the exercise of eminent domain was reached with complete disregard for the plain language of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

We the people therefore ask that the Constitution of the United States be amended to include the following language:
The right to ownership of property being the cornerstone of liberty, no government, or agency thereof, within these United States shall have the authority to take property from any person, corporation, or organization through exercise of eminent domain for other than a public use without just compensation.
Public use shall be understood to be property the government owns or retains the paramount interest in, and the public has a legal right to use. Public use shall be understood to include property the government owns and maintains as a secure facility. Public use shall not be construed to include economic development or increased tax revenue. Public use of such property shall be maintained for a period of not less than 25 years.
Just compensation shall be the higher of twice the average of the price paid for similar property in the preceding six months, or twice the average of the previous 10 recorded similar property transactions. Compensation paid shall be exempt from taxation in any form by any government within these United States.

The Open Source Amendment Project hopes to generate support across the internet to get the amendment to congress. The petition is available online at

“The process of amending the Constitution is difficult. As it should be. The first hurdle is getting the amendment before Congress. If enough people get behind the effort we should be able to get someone to listen,” Macklin said. “There are 535 elected members of congress. I hope there is at least one with and interest in preserving the property rights of individuals.

Stephen Macklin is an independent, unpaid, writer of social and political commentary. He can be reached for further comment at

12:22 PM  

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