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LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PROPERTY

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 5, 2005 10:28 AM

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Furor over the Kelo government land-grab ruling has not died down. John Kramer at the Institute for Justice e-mails details of a citizens’ protest taking place today in New London before a city council meeting:

On Tuesday, July 5, people outraged over the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London and the City of New London’ss efforts to remove Susette Kelo and others from their homes will rally in protest in front of New London’s City Hall before the City Council meets. The Kelo decision permitted the use of eminent domain for private development projects and has touched off a firestorm of protest throughout the country. As a result of the Court’s decision, New London residents in Fort Trumbull stand to lose their homes to make way for private development.

This will be the first City Council meeting after the decision and the protestors hope to send a clear message to New London’ss City Council: let these people stay in their homes. The City does not need their property to do new development projects. The Fort Trumbull homeowners are American heroes who should be honored, not evicted.

Among those who are expected to participate in the rally are the Institute for Justice’s Scott Bullock and Dana Berliner, who litigated the Kelo case before the Supreme Court, as well as homeowners Susette Kelo, Michael Cristofaro and other property owners and their community supporters.

Ken Masugi assesses the court’s impact on local liberty:

These Supreme Court decisions make clearer than ever that we must learn to become a self-governing people once again. We need to challenge through lawful action the courts when they permit violations of rights. More than ever, we need to elect freedom-loving city council members and other local government officials who take constitutional principles seriously. On this Fourth of July weekend, it is proper to recall that local liberty is not only a right, it is an obligation.

More on the Lost Liberty Hotel.

As if taking the house weren’t bad enough…

And there’s a wealth of related links at the new Carnival of Liberty.

Thomas Lifson weighs in on Kelo and why Janice Rogers Brown should be the next SCOTUS nominee:

She has a very public, very articulate position on the issue of takings – where the government forces a homeowner out of a longstanding abode, merely to garner greater tax revenue, or some other advantage to itself. The Kelo decision has electrified the public more than any other Supreme Court decision since Roe itself.

Politicians and pundits have been relatively slow to pick up on the public’s anger and fear that rich developers, in concert with tax-hungry local officials, will seize their homes if property values rise to the extent that it becomes profitable for them to do so. The longstanding belief that a man’s home is his castle is the bedrock of public opposition. But it has been given far greater force by the huge increase in property values most sections of the country have experienced over the past few years.

More people than ever before own their homes. The rise in property values in recent years has made them wealthier than they ever dreamed they would be. On paper, at least. But instead of relaxing and enjoying a sense of security their wealth should bring, suddenly they must worry about being expelled from their wise investment. By turning the American Dream into a nightmare, the Kelo Decision has seriously angered the majority of Americans.

The Kelo Decision offers a chance for the Republicans to redefine the meaning of the judicial mainstream. Let the Senate Democrats attack Judge Brown’s rhetoric on property rights. They won’t be able to help themselves. With every debating point they score against her, they drive another nail in the coffin of a future Democrat majority.

Now that’s one circus I don’t want to miss.

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Power Line’s John Hinderaker has a heretical take on the ruling that’s sure to spark debate.

Richard Epstein’s take on Kelo is here. (Hat tip: Sean Hackbarth)

More: Jim Lindgren ponders the ancillary effect of Kelo on other laws and on law firms: After Kelo, if Private Development is a Public Purpose, Then Why Isn’t Private Development Charitable?

Good question.

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