Thursday, June 30, 2005

What Are the Odds?

Hat Tip to the Llama Butchers for the link.

Sound familiar?

A developer in New Hampshire wants to use Eminent domain to seize a private residence and use the land to build a hotel. Here's what makes the story different:

The home in question belongs to SCOTUS Justice David Souter.

I know, I know, it's a protest move, symbolic, a publicity stunt. And it's got a snowball's chance in hell of ever happening.

But if it causes Souter, for even one second, to know what it feels like to be the rest of us, it was an effort well spent.


Here's a an update from Logan Clements, who appeared last night on FNC's "Hannity and Colmes":

When asked by television host Rich Lowry, who was filling in for Sean Hannity, why he didn't go after Justice John Paul Stevens' abode as well, Clements responded, "There are such things as hotel chains, and so we can certainly have other locations."


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What a misnomer!

Thanks to Jennifer Freeman and the hard-working Patriots at Liberty Belles for the following:


Section 211

Would allow FBI access to the following records without a court order and without notification to the affected individual:

(A) The production of tangible things from a library, as defined in section 213(2) of the Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. 9122(2)).

(B) The production of tangible things from a person or entity primarily engaged in the sale, rental, or delivery of books, journals, magazines, or other similar forms of communication whether in print or digitally.

(C) The production of records related to the purchase of a firearm, as defined in section 921(a)(3) of title 18, United States Code.

(D) The production of health information, as defined in section 1171(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d(4)).

(E) The production of taxpayer return information, return, or return information, as defined in section 6103(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 6103(b)).

The Patriot Act is supposed to protect the United States from terrorists. Unfortunately, we don't always know how the term "terrorist" will be defined. History shows that totalitarian governments fear an armed populace and are willing to take a pre-emptive strike at such a populace. Armed members of the populace who oppose a tyrannical government could easily be labeled as "terrorists." One can't help but wonder why this bill was named the "Patriot Act" rather than the "Anti-Terrorism Act." Let's hope the bill wasn't actually intended to apply to Patriots.

They Still Want Your Hooch

And they will lie, scheme, manipulate, and disregard the 4th Amendment to take it away from you. And they will take away your rights while they are at it.

And they never really went away to be honest. Like any malevolent being, the neoprohibitionists have simply morphed into something appealing to the current generation of killjoys, nanny-staters and just plain dupes that genuinely think they are doing the right thing and will never waver in their self-righteous furor.

Yesterday it was Carrie Nation, the Anti-Saloon League, and The Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Today it's MADD and, well, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. As far as I'm concerned MADD is no better than PETA, and we know what lunatics they are! Only problem is that MADD, having been establish with a noble goal to begin with, has evolved into a sacred cash cow for neoprohibitionists.

"But it's for the children!" goes the sacred mantra against those who dare question their lies. Only a monster would question a group that wants to put a stop to raving drunks plowing their car into a station wagon full of kids. But what they don't tell you is that that raving drunk is no longer the focus of MADD's efforts as they have shifted towards the casual drinker instead. In true Left-Winged fashion, they want to question what the definition of "is" is by redefining what it is to be "drunk." First it was "impaired", then it was a .10 BAC, then a .08 BAC. Now most jurisdictions will arrest you for DWI for having a .04 BAC (less than 2 drinks for some people) and even if they know the charge won't stick, they can try to plea-bargain you down or intimidate you into pleading guilty. And in some jurisdictions if you are on probation or parole they will arrest and convict you of DWI with a BAC of .02, as if somehow that assault and battery charge you got three years ago has lowered your body's resistance to alchohol and turned you into a raving drunk after one beer.

Let's not forget the unconstitutional roadblocks that still go on today in many States, where cars are stopped and randomly searched and the drivers given breathylizer without having done anything to indicate probable cause or generate reasonable suspicion. Of course if you refuse the breathylizer you get taken to jail and your license will automaticly be suspended, even if you are not convicted, even though you didn't even do anything to arouse suspicion.

There are plenty of cops and judges who think this is bullshit. One has even put out a video on the subject and advises people not to take the breathylizer test.

You can exercise your rights and refuse at any time. If you know you’re over the legal limit, which most people won’t know, I wouldn’t do it. Why give evidence against yourself? That’s like robbing a bank and sending the police department a note a week ahead of time saying so.

If I was stopped for a DUI, I wouldn’t walk, I wouldn’t talk, I wouldn’t do anything that’s going to help that officer articulate in his report that you are intoxicated. You will be arrested, but you have to buck up and play the game. I don’t believe in that implied consent crap, it’s blackmail. I’d rather lose my license for a year than get a DUI charge.

By this time many of you reading this are going, "well doesn't the fourth amendment cover this?" Well apparently since about 1983 or so (the same time that MADD came on the scene), the Supreme Court of these United States has been ruling that there is a "DUI exception" to just about every constitutional amendment that could apply to a DUI/DWI incident. Whether it's illegal search and seisure of your vehicle at a random checkpoint, avoidance of self-incrimination by breath, blood, or urine tests, your right to remain silent when questioned, the ability to have evidence examined by an independent body (when you take a breathylizer test, the air sample is immediately released into the atmosphere upon taking the reading, preventing any further examination of the evidence), or your right to a jury trial, the esteemed Justices of SCOTUS have said that you as an American have no constitutional rights.

Murderers, Rapist, and Child Molesters have these rights. But if you have a couple of beers, or even if you are completely sober and simply driving through a police checkpoint, then you do not have these rights. God forbid you should wear Aqua Velva or Brute.

But if you're not driving your safe, right? Right?

Not so. Public Intoxication is the charge that most jurisdictions use, and in effect it's become a "walking while intoxicated" charge, y'know, for when you've inconvenienced your local law enforcement body by not operating a motor vehicle so they can get you for driving while intoxicated. Hell in Fairfax, Virginia they just started sending police into bars, pulling people off of their barstools, giving them breathylizer tests, and taking them straight to jail. That includes designated drivers who were in there drinking coca-cola all night.

Now a lot of people were surprised at the gall that SCOTUS had in their latest ruling regarding imminent domain and property rights. But if you see the way that SCOTUS and MADD have been acting towards our right as Americans simply to have a couple of drinks, this sort of thing really doesn't seem out of step.

Oh, by the way, if you happen to have purchased a car made by General Motors in the last couple of decades, you've helped contribute a crapload of money towards taking away all of our constitutional rights. Over $3 million from 1995 to 2002 in fact. Thanks, guys!

Hat tip to Frank Kelly Rich and the folks at Modern Drunkard Magazine. Also a hat tip to the folks at The Center For Consumer Freedom who run the Activist Cash website.

Kelo aftermath

Hat tip: Institute for Justice
Cities' Actions Since Kelo
Links to News Articles

  • Freeport, Texas
    Hours after the Kelo decision, officials in Freeport began legal filings to seize some waterfront businesses (two seafood companies) to make way for others (an $8 million private boat marina), according to the Houston Chronicle.

  • Lake Zurich, Ill.
    Five property owners facing condemnation for private development had asked Lake Zurich officials to hold off until the Kelo decision. The Chicago Tribune reports that City officials are now moving to condemn.

  • Boston, Mass.
    Two days after the Kelo decision, Boston City Council President Michael Flaherty called on the mayor of Boston to seize South Boston waterfront property from unwilling sellers for a private development project. “Eminent domain is one tool that the city can use,” Flaherty told the Boston Globe.

  • Arnold, Mo.
    “Arnold Mayor Mark Powell applauded the decision,” reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The City of Arnold wants to raze 30 homes and 15 small businesses, including the Arnold VFW, for a Lowe’s Home Improvement store and a strip mall—a $55 million project for which developer THF Realty will receive $21 million in tax-increment financing. Powell said that for “cash-strapped” cities like Arnold, enticing commercial development is just as important as other public improvements.

  • Baltimore, Md. (West Side)
    The City of Baltimore is moving to acquire shops on the city’s west side for private development. Ronald M. Kreitner, executive director of Westside Renaissance, Inc., a private organization coordinating the project with the city’s development corporation, told the Baltimore Sun, “If there was any hesitation because of the Supreme Court case, any question is removed, and we should expect to see things proceeding in a timely fashion.”

  • Baltimore, Md. (East Side)
    Baltimore’s redevelopment agency, the Baltimore Development Corp., is exercising eminent domain to acquire more than 2,000 properties in East Baltimore for a biotech park and new residences. BDC Executive Vice President Andrew B. Frank told the Daily Record the Kelo decision “is very good news. It means many of the projects on which we’ve been working for the last several years can continue.”

  • Newark, N.J.
    Newark officials want to raze 14 downtown acres in the Mulberry Street area to build 2,000 upscale condo units and retail space. The Municipal Council voted against the plan in 2003, but then reversed its decision eight months later following re-election campaigns in which developers donated thousands of dollars. Officials told the Associated Press that the Mulberry Street project could have been killed if the U.S. Supreme Court had sided with the homeowners in Kelo.

  • Lodi, N.J.
    Save Our Homes, a coalition of 200 residents in a Lodi trailer park targeted by the City for private retail development and a senior-living community, goes to court on July 18 to try to prevent a private developer from taking their homes. Lodi Mayor Gary Paparozzi called the Kelo ruling a “shot in the arm” for the town. He told the Bergen County Record, “The trailer park is like a poster child for redevelopment. That’s the best-case scenario for using eminent domain.”

  • Cleveland, Ohio
    Developer Scott Wolstein has planned a $225 million residential and retail development in the Flats district. Wolstein has most of the property he needs, but is pleased that Kelo cleared the way for the City to acquire land from any unwilling sellers. If eminent domain is “necessary,” he told the Plain Dealer, “we think this makes it clear that there won’t be any legal impediments.” Previously, city leaders publicly supported Wolstein’s call for eminent domain.

  • Dania, Fla.
    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Dania Beach City Manager Ivan Pato “expressed joy” over the ruling in Kelo. Dania plans to buy a block of properties for a private development project, and Pato said the city will use eminent domain to oust unwilling sellers. “Unless we expand the city’s tax base … our residents are facing rising taxes on their property,” Pato said. “Redevelopment is the only way we will be able to make ends meet.”

  • Memphis, Tenn.
    The Riverfront Development Corp. is planning a massive, 5-mile development effort, including the use of eminent domain to claim a four-block section from the current owners for a mixed-use development. “[Kelo] definitely gives the city more tools in its tool box for dealing with the legal issues surrounding that piece of property,” RDC president Benny Lendermon told the Commercial Appeal.

  • Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and Miramar, Fla.
    Broward County officials yesterday cleared the way for new condo and retail development in these three cities. Hollywood residents in the targeted area fear their homes may now be taken for economic development following the Kelo decision. Mayor Mara Giulianti said the City would use eminent domain on a “case-by-case basis” to remove homeowners unwilling to sell.

  • West Allis, Wisc.
    West Allis officials want to “revitalize” the West Allis Towne Center, a shopping mall. If the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the homeowners in Kelo, officials may not have been able to use eminent domain to claim the mall, West Allis development director John Stibal told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Bloggers plead for freedom from election laws

Hat tip: David from War On Guns.
Bloggers plead for freedom from election laws

Bloggers plead for freedom from election laws
Published: June 28, 2005, 4:51 PM PDT
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET
TrackBack Print E-mail TalkBack

WASHINGTON--Political bloggers on Tuesday urged federal regulators to keep the Internet as free as possible from campaign finance laws.

At a public hearing convened by the Federal Election Commission, both liberal and conservative political commentators lauded the brand of freewheeling online politicking that has characterized recent elections. The FEC is under a court order to extend campaign finance rules to the Internet, and the Democratic commissioners voted not to appeal.

Mike Krempasky, a conservative activist and contributor to the blog, said he hopes the FEC will "ensure that no blogger, no amateur activist and no self-published pundit ever need consult with legal counsel." The FEC's 47-page proposed rules, which are not final, cover everything from candidate endorsements to fund-raising, bulk e-mail and paid advertisements.

Read the rest here

David sums it up quite well:
What's This "Plead"?

"Bloggers plead for freedom from election laws."


I'll not plead.

This is my online journal. I write it for me, to reflect my thoughts and my opinions. As such, I will say whatever I damn well please, whenever I damn well please.

These fascists can pass whatever edicts they wish. I'll still say what I want.

I'll continue to do so until incapacitated. I will defy any attempts to silence me until I am incapable of defiance.

But I'll not plead.

I'll never plead.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Thanks to Right Wing News for linking the Constitution Death Pool as their "Website of the Day."


Hat tip: commentor "Retire05."

Texas Corridor Watch.

Kelo v. New London will make it easier for this travesty to become reality.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Judicial Activism

I would love to do a post about which right, guaranteed, like that means anything, by the constitution and bill of rights, is next to fall, but as a judge here on the CONDEATHPOOL I cannot.

I do believe that there are many liberties that are under assault today by what is known as judicial activism.

Judicial Activism is a phrase that described the making of law by judges instead of them interpreting the existing laws. Some of the more recent and infamous examples of judicial activism are the rulings that have given us the “right” to abortion the “right” to privacy and most recently the “right” of local governments to take our property. As a new homeowner, (well Citibank “Owns” it for the next 30 years) I find this most distressing.

However there have been time where this activism has been good for America. A former Professor of mine had pointed out that it was President Adams who had appointed John Marshal to the supreme court in 1801. Marshal was a committed Federalist who upheld nationalist principles until his death.

The marshal court’s first major decision involved the judicial review. In 1798, during the dispute over the Alien and Sedition Acts, republican dominated legislatures in Kentucky and Virginia had asserted their authority to determine the continuality of national laws. However the Constitution stated “the judicial Power shall extend to all cases...arising under the Constitution and the laws of the United Stated”, implying that the Supreme Court held the final power of judicial review. But before 1803 when Marshal composed the decision in Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court had never overturned s national law or had it ever claimed the power of judicial review. During the first half of the 1800’s the Court had used this power sparingly and then only to overturn state laws that conflicted clearly conflicted with federal law.

The court used its power with restraint but it always had kept the idea that the constitution came first. Lately the recent use of Judicial Review has been to find new meanings in the constitution, meanings that one must use a leap of faith to get be able to reach. The Judges are now looking to the constitution for meaning to impose personal views and agendas. Where will this activism stop? At what loss of freedom will we demand that the judges stop imposing their personal views on the majority of Americans?

I believe that most citizens love the freedoms that we have been given, but we are so used to those freedoms, that we take them for granted. Loosing one or two of the freedoms may seem trivial but it is adding up and one day we will wake up to find ourselves living under the yoke of serfdom that our forefathers fought so hard to give us.

How this blog will work

To those of you who have been asking if you could help us out,

Right now, we have five members on this blog. Each of us has our own writing style and areas of specialization (for lack of a better word) regarding our rights as U.S. citizens. We are not looking for more members at this time.


You do not have to actually be a member of this blog to contribute to its content. If you find some information about how the government is trampling our Constitutional rights, email that information to us. We'll read the information provided then we'll post it on the blog, along with credit to the original sender.





The posts are thought provoking, but please share those thoughts with us. Your input helps further the discussion into these real issues that will affect not only us, but our children as well.

Vulture 6

New Member

Welcome to the CDP team, Mister Priapus.

Ten Commandments Disallowed in Courthouses

I'm not a very religious person. I do not follow any Judeo-Christian beliefs. I'm pagan.

However, this inane foolishness needs to cease.

WASHINGTON -- In a narrowly drawn ruling, the Supreme Court struck down Ten Commandments displays in courthouses Monday, holding that two exhibits in Kentucky crossed the line between separation of church and state because they promoted a religious message.

The 5-4 decision, first of two seeking to mediate the bitter culture war over religion's place in public life, took a case-by-case approach to this vexing issue. In the decision, the court declined to prohibit all displays in court buildings or on government property.

The justices left themselves legal wiggle room on this issue, however, saying that some displays _ like their own courtroom frieze _ would be permissible if they're portrayed neutrally in order to honor the nation's legal history.

But framed copies in two Kentucky courthouses went too far in endorsing religion, the court held.

"The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion," Justice David H. Souter wrote for the majority.
"When the government acts with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion, it violates that central Establishment clause value of official religious neutrality," he said.

Souter was joined in his opinion by other members of the liberal bloc _ Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, as well as Reagan appointee Sandra Day O'Connor, who provided the swing vote.
In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Ten Commandments displays are a legitimate tribute to the nation's religious and legal history.

Government officials may have had a religious purpose when they originally posted the Ten Commandments display by itself in 1999. But their efforts to dilute the religious message since then by hanging other historical documents in the courthouses made it constitutionally adequate, Scalia said.

He was joined in his opinion by Chief William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justice Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

"In the court's view , the impermissible motive was apparent from the initial displays of the Ten Commandments all by themselves: When that occurs: the Court says, a religious object is unmistakable," he wrote. "Surely that cannot be."

"The Commandments have a proper place in our civil history," Scalia wrote.
The case was one of two heard by the Supreme Court in March involving Ten Commandments displays in Kentucky and Texas. That case asks whether the Ten Commandments may be displayed on the grounds outside the state capitol.

The cases marked the first time since 1980 the high court tackled the emotional issue, in a courtroom boasting a wall carving of Moses holding the sacred tablets.

A broader ruling than the one rendered Monday could have determined the allowable role of religion in a wide range of public contexts, from the use of religious music in a school concert to students' recitation of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. It is a question that has sharply divided the lower courts in recent years.

But in their ruling Monday, justices chose to stick with a cautious case-by-case approach.

Two Kentucky counties originally hung the copies of the Ten Commandments in their courthouses. After the ACLU filed suit, the counties modified their displays to add other documents demonstrating "America's Christian heritage," including the national motto of "In God We Trust" and a version of the Congressional Record declaring 1983 the "Year of the Bible."

Sunday, June 26, 2005



This word bothers me for many reasons. The chief reason for this is that it’s the first word thrown out in political debates when one wishes to denigrate his or her opponent.

The word “fascism,” much like the words “Nazi” and “racist,” has had its true meaning watered down by overuse. Since the word is bandied about so freely during increasingly heated political discourse, no one understands its implications anymore.

It is for the reasons listed above that I despise using the word “fascist” to describe anything, yet I can think of no other word that truly identifies the full scope of the travesty of justice known as Kelo v. New London.

With one stroke of its pen, the United States Supreme Court has completely invalidated Clause 5 of the Fifth Amendment. In accordance with Kelo, local governments can seize private property for any reason whatsoever – with "just compensation" - and give it to someone else. And, who exactly defines "just compensation?" That’s right. Some faceless bureaucrat who works for the same government entity that has seen fit to seize private property in the first place.

Isn’t that just peachy?

I’ve always wanted to work my tail off to scratch together enough money to buy myself a nice comfortable piece of the American Dream just so some nitwit on City Council can steal it from me for pennies on the dollar and give it to some other nitwit who wants to build a bowling alley on my land.

Many of you reading this are thinking “That can’t possibly happen in America!” I hate to be the bearer of Bad News. The citizens on New London, Connecticut didn’t think that, either. Neither did the citizens of Freeport, Texas, for that matter.

There are three basic rights granted to all citizens of the United States. They are Life, Liberty, and Property, as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. In fact, these three rights provide the very foundation of all laws in the U.S. Against the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold and defend, the majority of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have embraced fascism with a decision to strip American citizens of one of their three most basic rights: the right of Property.

Now that I ponder it, there is one other word that encompasses the act of betrayal committed by Supreme Court this week. It is a word I hate to use even more than “fascism.”


Welcome to the United Socialist States of America, brought to you by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

And the difference is....?

Someone at True Conservatism posted an interesting article about China's land grabs.

When officials grab land, corruption is often the driving force and the compensation is minimal.

Hundreds of farmers protested in a Beijing suburb yesterday after being forced from their land to make way for an Olympic stadium, the latest in a wave of disputes over property rights.

Makeshift signs reading "Support the Olympics, resettle the farmers who have lost their land!" were strung up alongside a wide green-and-white banner proclaiming the site for the stadium and watersports complex for the 2008 Beijing Games.

The protest came as Communist Party officials hurriedly handed out compensation to the families of six farmers killed in a violent land grab by developers last Saturday.

The six died when five busloads of men armed with shotguns and metal pipes attacked their camp on disputed land 150 kilometres south of Beijing.

That clash followed a battle in Huaxi village, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, on April 10, when thousands of villagers drove off police and trashed vehicles in a clash over pollution from a new industrial park.

The incidents are among the biggest recently reported as China experiences a wave of unrest over land resumptions, often carried out in a corrupt fashion with low compensation.

The disputed land at Maxingzhuang village, the focus of yesterday's protest, is the site for the Shunyi Olympic Aquatic Park, the venue for the rowing and canoeing competitions. The park is one of 14 ultra-modern venues Beijing plans to build for the Games.

Although farmers gained long leases in reforms applied since 1978, title remains with the state.

Lagging incomes in villages and inland regions has become a concern for communist leaders in the past two years. They have reduced taxes and raised grain prices, but are resisting the dramatic switch back to private land ownership that economists urge. ...

Given recent developments in the destruction of our property rights, the Kelo decision differs HOW from what's going on in communist China?

Kennedy whines about "judicial independence"

This bastard's got some gall! Apparently it's OK for socialist judges to hand over Americans' property rights to greedy politicians, essentially demolishing the Fifth Amendment, but Goddess forbid Americans react with anger!

Fresh from a controversial 5-4 decision on property rights, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Friday told a gathering of Florida Bar lawyers in Orange County that they must defend their rights and support judicial independence.

"We want a debate on what the law does and what it means," said Kennedy, the keynote speaker at the Bar's annual meeting, held at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center.

"Judges aren't immune from criticism, and neither are their decisions," said Kennedy, who was nominated by President Reagan and became an associate justice in 1988.

On Thursday, Kennedy sided with the majority in granting governments the right to seize individuals' properties in a case that could expand the power of eminent domain.

Kennedy has been criticized by conservative groups that have called for his ouster based on what they perceive as his judicial activism. And he also has been singled out by congressmen who have accused him of liberal bias.

Judges and the court system nationwide have been on edge since the killings of a federal judge's family in Chicago in late February and the slayings of a state judge and three others in an Atlanta courthouse in March.

"When the judiciary is under attack, the bar disengaged, the public indifferent and critics scornful, then this idea of judicial independence might be under a real threat," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said when judges issue decisions, criticism is expected and even welcomed. "The law thrives on criticism," he said, adding that rulings should be debated and questioned. When judges act, they should be free to do what they have to or must do, Kennedy said.

The jurist also said attorneys should stand up when judges cannot and should serve as the bridge to explain the rule of law to the public when the U.S. Constitution is under scrutiny."This is an era in which new constitutions are being written," the judge said in reference to new legal systems being forged in Iraq, former communist nations and developing countries. "It would be a tragedy if the American people neglected or ignored the idea of judicial independence just when the rest of the world is on the threshold of gaining it themselves.

"I don't think we're doing enough. . . . The work of freedom is never done," he said to applause at the conclusion of his 45-minute speech.

After a standing ovation, Kennedy was thronged by well-wishers who lined up with cameras in hand to greet him.

Some in the audience later said they were encouraged by words coming from someone at the nation's highest court.

"His comments were timely," said Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero III, a Cuban-American Coral Gables attorney who noted the recent controversial Terri Schiavo rulings that sharply divided the state and the country.

Jesse Diner, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who sits on the Bar's judicial-independence committee, said Kennedy's message was "extremely important."

"He captured exactly what it means," he said. "An independent judiciary should be free of outside influence and free of reprisals."

It's hard to believe this Marxist creep had the balls to assert "the work of freedom is never done" after having just dismantled property rights! And I can't stomach the sanctimonious claim of attorney Jesse Diner that "An independent judiciary should be free of outside influence and free of reprisals." This after Ginsburg blatantly stated in a speech to the obscenely named American Constitution Society last year that the justices "are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives."

Apparently it's perfectly OK for the Supreme Court to toss aside the Law of the Land in favor of global precedents set by tyrannical, socialist regimes, but try to make your voice heard in the hallowed halls of SCOTUS if you're an American fighting for your rights, and all of a sudden you're hampering judicial independence!

The "Great SCOTUS Land Grab" has come to Texas

So it begins. The Great SCOTUS Landgrab has come to Freeport, Texas, where the city is attempting to seize three properties based on Kelo v. New London.

In all honesty, though, it took them longer than I expected.
Freeport moves to seize 3 properties
Court's decision empowers the city to acquire the site for a new marina

Chronicle Correspondent

FREEPORT - With Thursday's Supreme Court decision, Freeport officials instructed attorneys to begin preparing legal documents to seize three pieces of waterfront property along the Old Brazos River from two seafood companies for construction of an $8 million private boat marina.

The court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that cities may bulldoze people's homes or businesses to make way for shopping malls or other private development. The decision gives local governments broad power to seize private property to generate tax revenue.

"This is the last little piece of the puzzle to put the project together," Freeport Mayor Jim Phillips said of the project designed to inject new life in the Brazoria County city's depressed downtown area.

Over the years, Freeport's lack of commercial and retail businesses has meant many of its 13,500 residents travel to neighboring Lake Jackson, which started as a planned community in 1943, to spend money. But the city is hopeful the marina will spawn new economic growth.

"This will be the engine that will drive redevelopment in the city," City Manager Ron Bottoms said.

Lee Cameron, director of the city's Economic Development Corp., said the marina is expected to attract $60 million worth of hotels, restaurants and retail establishments to the city's downtown area and create 150 to 250 jobs. He said three hotels, two of which have "high interest," have contacted the city about building near the marina.

"It's all dependent on the marina," Cameron said. "Without the marina, (the hotels) aren't interested. With the marina, (the hotels) think it's a home run."

Since September 2003, the city has been locked in a legal battle to acquire a 300-by-60-foot tract of land along the Old Brazos River near the Pine Street bridge as well as a 200-foot tract and 100-foot tract along the river through eminent domain from Western Seafood Co. and Trico Seafood Co.

Eminent domain is the right of a government to take private property for public use upon payment of the fair market value.

The tracts of land would be used for a planned 800- to 900-slip marina to be built by Freeport Marina, a group that that includes Dallas developer Hiram Walker Royall. He would buy the property from the city and receive a $6 million loan from the city to develop the project.

Freeport Marina would then invest $1 million in the project and contribute a 1,100-foot tract of land, valued at $750,000, to it before receiving the loan.

Western Seafood spokesman Wright Gore III said the wholesale shrimp company was disappointed with the Supreme Court decision, but believes the ruling does not apply to the city's eminent domain proceedings.

He said there is a provision in state law that allows residents of a city to a circulate a petition to call a vote on whether the city can take property using eminent domain.

"(This) is far, far from over," Gore said. "(We) would have liked to have seen a victory on the federal level, but it is by no means a settled issue."

Gore said Western Seafood's 30,000-square-foot processing facility, which sits on the 300-by-60-foot tract, would be forced to close if the land were seized.

That facility earns about $40 million annually, and Western Seafood has been in business in Freeport since 1946, he said.

City officials, however, have said the marina will still allow Western Seafood and Trico Seafood, which did not return telephone calls or e-mail Thursday, to operate their facilities.

In August, U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent ruled against a lawsuit filed by Western Seafood seeking to stop the city's eminent domain proceedings. The seafood company then appealed its case to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, a request that initially was denied.

The appeals court then decided it would take the case, but not rule on it until after the Supreme Court made a ruling on the New London, Conn., case.

New London residents vow to defy SCOTUS ruling

We here at CDP wish these noble subjects citizens of New London, CT the best of luck. They're going to need lots of it.
Some Homeowners Vow To Stay Despite Ruling Against Them
But few options seem available

New London — Drive by Michael Cristofaro's home at 50 Denison Ave. tomorrow; he promises you'll see this sign: FOR SALE.

“I'm out of here. I'm selling my home,” Cristofaro, a New London resident for 43 years, said Thursday. “I'm a white-collar worker, a computer engineer. Who do they want living in this town?”

The Cristofaro family owns a second home, at 53 Goshen St., in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the city's right to take that home, and the homes of six other property owners, by eminent domain.

The decision came as no surprise to those fighting to save their homes.

“I sort of figured it would go that way,” said Byron Athenian, who lives at what used to be 78 Smith St. before the street in front of his house was demolished. “That's the way the government works.”

But there was anger nonetheless.

“Those justices made the wrong decision,” Cristofaro said. “Four of them protected our property rights; five threw them out the door. I hope their property is chosen next for eminent domain so they know what it's like to be thrown out into the street.”

And even though, after six years of fighting the city, the group seemed to have run low on options, several promised that they would never leave.

“I'm not going anywhere. I'm here,” said William von Winkle, who owns three buildings on what remains of Smith Street. “I'm going to fight until they give up. They can do their little development around here with us here or they can do no development and try to take it, because until they stop trying to take my property by eminent domain, they will not build anything at Fort Trumbull. It's simple as that.”

“I don't know how they're going to get us out,” Cristofaro agreed. “We're going to keep our homes to the bitter end, because what they've done is wrong.”

And they warned every citizen of New London and the nation at large that the court's ruling stripped them of their right to own private property.

“One of the most fundamental rights that the country was built upon has been pretty much obliterated,” said Scott Sawyer, a lawyer who represented the homeowners. “Owning property doesn't seem to amount to much in the United States anymore. Certainly, none of us own our property anymore.”

Richard Beyer, a plaintiff who owns two homes at 41 and 49 Goshen St., agreed.

“We've pretty much lost our right to have private property,” he said. “Everybody that owns homes, their homes are at risk for eminent domain.”

And that, said Beyer, Cristofaro and von Winkle, now translates into giving the land of small property owners to big corporations.

“As one gentleman that I just got off the phone with said, ‘Welcome to Russia,' ” Beyer said. “So it's scary. I just feel bad for my kids when they get to be my age and own their own home. They don't own it. Either the bank owns it or a private corporation's going to own it.”

The homeowners predicted that more land in the city would end up in the hands of private corporations.

“I guarantee you that just about every house from Howard Street to Shaw's Cove is going to be targeted,” Beyer said. “I see that whole district in New London as being Pfizer's business park. It'll be like Avery Point minus the houses. You'll have access to Fort Trumbull State Park and that'll be it.”

Beyer, who with a partner had renovated one of his two houses and was working on the second when the city took them, said one bitter lesson he had learned was never again to do business in New London.

And he pointed out the city has never delivered on its promise that Pfizer's arrival in the city would mean lower taxes.

“The city of New London promised all the residents of New London that all your property taxes will be reduced,” he said. “That promise was never fulfilled. The taxes keep going up ... When is enough enough?”

And who, several asked, would want to build in the Fort Trumbull area now?

“They're taking the properties for an obsolete plan,” von Winkle said. “Today, who would build a hotel in New London, Connecticut? And they certainly wouldn't build an office building. We have half the city empty now. So what are they taking it for?”

For Cristofaro, the home at 53 Goshen St. is the second the city has taken from his family by eminent domain. The city took the first house, on Woodbridge Street near Shaw's Cove, in 1972.

It was a home, Cristofaro said, that his father had lovingly surrounded with fruit trees, grapevines, yews and rhododendrons.

Today it is a parking lot.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Given the current climate in the US...

...I thought it might be appropriate to declare a state of emergency for our rights.

So I wake up today...

So I wake up today, late as usual. I go to make my coffee. While the pot was filling I looked out the window and see this bulldozer on my front lawn. I am a curious guy by nature so I go out side to see what the heck the guy is doing parking that yellow monster in my wife's daffodils.

"Excuse me, Sir" I say as I walk up to him. "Um... I hate to be one to complain but you know... You kind of parked your machine in my yard." He looks at me in my bathrobe and empty coffee cup and snorts, scratches himself as he leans over and spits. "Look Mac" he says to me "this aint your yard no more. It belongs to the city, they are gonna build a McBlockburgerbuster here cause you don't pay enough taxes"

"Not pay enough? I pay almost 30% and that is not counting property tax! You can't do this!" I reply to him. "Ed" he calls over his shoulder to the police men that I had not noticed before. "We got another one" I look up the street and see all my neighbors are all carting stuff out of their homes rapidly, filling their cars with what they can carry. Ed the cop looks at me and then reads a pre printed statement informing me that the court house has had plans for the annexation of this neighborhood for six months and I should have filed a compliant if I wanted to protest before now, but by not complaining I loose any legal recourse for claims against my lost property. He hands me a check it's for less than half of what I paid for the house. I'm informed that the city compensating me for the land, not the improvements (my house) on the land.

I'm allowed 15 minutes to clear out anything I want to take. I run in grab the wife and kids my laptop and a few other things. Looking back I wish I would have remembered the dog.

So we check into a motel and I call into work to let them know what is going on. My boss tells me that I have been re-assigned to the DMV. I am confused, "We make weed-eater string" I say, "How can you reassign me to the DMV?" Boss tells me the it was not him, the government called and said that he had to triple the taxes he paid, he told them that he couldn't afford that. They told him no problem because according to their records he has hired too many people for optimal performance for a firm his size and that they would reassign them.

I'm thinking to myself at this point that this is shaping up to be a lousy day.

So I go report to my new job. They gave me a manual and a window. In 5 minutes I'm helping people process applications. One problem. All the applicants are filling out voter registration cards as well as drivers licenses forms. Now I don't care you know, but I don't speak or even read one word of Spanish and the lady in the head scarf, she has blue eyes checked on the paper, but her eyes...they are clearly brown. So I call my new supervisor over. I give her the skinny on the whole eye thing and she looks at me her mouth open. Next thing I know I'm in the HR office being told that I'm rude and insensitive. She looks at me like I just killed her dog (damn I miss my dog) and shakes her blond head, while brushing off the lint from her blue pinstripe power suit and tells me that I have to go to a sensitivity training camp for 6 weeks because of my poor attitude. And then she tells me I can't work until I get my re-education certificate of completion of sensitivity training, oh yeah, unpaid leave of absence was a phrase she used in there somewhere.

So I have the rest of the afternoon to kill before I go home to tell my wife I'm going away to some summer camp for a few weeks without pay. Looking for a place to reflect on my situation and maybe find some inspiration I go to my church after all every time I have had trouble it was there for me. I get there and find it was torn down. A bar had built in it's place. What the heck I'm here. So I get a beer and a booth and sit down. I pull out my laptop and fire it up. I log on to make a post to my blog and find out that it has been shut down due to political commentary. I blog on turtles, what political commentary. I notice there is a link to click for more information. I click it.

According to CFR laws any blog that talks politics is in violation of the law so there for must be shut down. I then remember my big political comment I once said that Joe Lieberman talked as slow as a turtle walks. So I go to create a new blog and get a message that says I'm banned from the internet.

I walk out of the bar, distraught over all the bad things that have happened. I cross the street and get yelled at by my new friend Ed the cop. He runs over with his partner and they ask for my licence/party affiliation card because I was jay walking. I hand him my DL and he chuckles and runs it through the card reader. He looks at his partner who cuffs me. "Your going a way Pall, for along time. 3 Strikes and your out, no parole. And you got em all in one day!"

Think it can't happen to you? The above story is, of course, is absurd. No one would take all of your rights away at one time. First you would loose one then another one and another. People will reach a point when their anger will be motivating enough to get them interested to stand up for what are our GOd given rights. However the slower they take our rights away, the less likely we will notice because we are so wrapped up in finding out who is going to be voted off the island next or which celebrity is dumping who for whom.

At what point does your love of your rights overcome your apathy?

Con Carne or Con Carni?

I've been floating the idea past the other contributors to this Blog of starting a "Constitutional Carnival" to highlight the latest in Constitutionalist Blogging. We're still in our chambers deliberating. But I thought I'd start with a trial balloon post this week by providing a roundup of excellent Blog posts on this topic.

Now, to be a true carnival, it would require that all the linked posts have been submitted voluntarily by their posters. So instead of calling it a Con(stitutional) Carni(val), this week I'm just calling it Con Carne, since there's a lot of meat out there to sink your teeth into:

Michelle Malkin Feels "Rooked".

GayOrbit "chimed" in.

Vilmar Tavares' "Rant" was "Right ON".

McGehee is "Conteptuous of the Court".

Brash Limburg Has a "Lock" on things.

The Therapist has an idea that might be called "The Bader's Hof is Mein Hof Group".

Professor Bainbridge: He's outrageous and outraged.

You knew Glenn would weigh in.

Arguing with Signposts has an even better rundown of Blog entries on the decision.

Nicki, one of our contributors, Warns us we're in a "Danger Field".

Six Meat Buffet notes the irony.

Ideals and Impossibilities asks the important questions.

Memento Moron thinks this is moronic.

Mean Mr. Mustard knows which "Sigh'ed" he's on.

Know of more? Leave a link in the comments or traxkbacks.

A ripple in the masses

It's unsurprising that the recent SCOTUS ruling allowing local governments to seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private economic development is causing the masses on both sides of the political spectrum to mutiny. Most newspapers, political chatboards and blogs are abuzz with the implications of this fascist decision.

While most may view gun owners as one-trick ponies, it is hardly so. Few things set Second Amendment activists off more than the gradual destruction of the Bill of Rights as a whole. Gun owners understand more keenly than most that while their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms safeguards all the other rights listed in the Bill of Rights, any constitutional infringements are inherently dangerous. As I explained in my own blog yesterday, basic individual rights (life, liberty and property) are inextricably linked. Any attempt to shred those rights, results in the destruction of the others. And while the pundits, newspapers, politics watchers, etc. voice their displeasure through words, a number of gun owners have reached their limit.

"...hey all you judges and politicians out there, be careful of paper cuts as you wipe your ass with the bill of rights," says one.

Another comes right out and says it. "Does anyone think that this decision just may be the trigger for the brewing armed rebellion which is lurking out here?"

A third is ready. "...the ignorance of government officials or their armed representatives serving out such orders doesn't matter much to me if they're coming to confiscate my property. They should meet the same fate that a masked burglar does when he invades your home in the middle of the night. That's the harsh reality of it. "

And it goes on...

Are people finally waking up?

New York Times supports Kelo v. New London

In an editorial in the New York Times, the paper acknowledged support for the controversial decision to strip homeowners of their property rights. First, let us take a look at the editorial, then let's take a look at the real reason the Times supports this decision.

June 24, 2005

The Limits of Property Rights

The Supreme Court's ruling yesterday that the economically troubled city of New London, Conn., can use its power of eminent domain to spur development was a welcome vindication of cities' ability to act in the public interest. It also is a setback to the "property rights" movement, which is trying to block government from imposing reasonable zoning and environmental regulations. Still, the dissenters provided a useful reminder that eminent domain must not be used for purely private gain.

The city of New London has fallen on hard times. In 1998 - when its population was at its lowest since 1920, and its unemployment rate was nearly twice the state average - an effort was begun to turn New London around. State and local officials put together a redevelopment plan, anchored by a $300 million Pfizer research facility, that would bring restaurants, stores and a new Coast Guard museum to one hard-hit neighborhood.

The city authorized a nonprofit development corporation to clear the necessary land by eminent domain, a forced sale in which the seller is given appropriate compensation. The development corporation got control of most of the land it needed, but a few people refused to sell.

Eminent domain allows governments to take property for a public use, such as building a road. The property owners in New London claimed that handing over private property to a private developer cannot be a public use, even if it is part of a comprehensive plan to turn around a depressed city.

The Supreme Court, by a 5-to-4 vote, sided with the city. The court noted that in past cases it had taken a broad view on this issue, and given governments wide discretion to determine when a taking of property meets this standard. New London, the court held, was within its rights to decide that its development plan was a valid public use. (The New York Times benefited from eminent domain in clearing the land for the new building it is constructing opposite the Port Authority Bus Terminal.)

In a blistering dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor lamented that the decision meant that the government could transfer any private property from the owner to another person with more political influence "so long as it might be upgraded." That is a serious concern, but her fears are exaggerated. The majority strongly suggested that eminent domain should be part of a comprehensive plan, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing separately, underscored that its goal cannot simply be to help a developer or other private party become richer.

That is not the situation in New London. Connecticut is a rich state with poor cities, which must do everything they can to attract business and industry. New London's development plan may hurt a few small property owners, who will, in any case, be fully compensated. But many more residents are likely to benefit if the city can shore up its tax base and attract badly needed jobs.

How can anyone claim to be "for the people" and support this decision?

Well, it seems that they have their reasons.

And this isn't happening just in small towns. In New York City, just a few blocks from Times Square, New York State has forced a man to sell a corner that his family owned for more than 100 years. And what's going up instead? A courthouse? A school? Nope. The new headquarters of The New York Times.

The world's most prestigious newspaper wants to build a new home on that block, but Stratford Wallace and the block's other property owners didn't want to sell. Wallace told 60 Minutes that the newspaper never tried to negotiate with him. Instead, The Times teamed up with a major real estate developer, and together they convinced New York State to use eminent domain to force Wallace out. How? By declaring the block blighted.

“I challenge them,” says Wallace. “This is not blighted property.”

But New York State's Supreme Court disagreed and ruled that the newspaper's new headquarters would eliminate blight - and that even though a private entity (The New York Times) is the main beneficiary, improving the block would benefit the public.

Executives from The New York Times wouldn't talk to 60 Minutes about it on camera.

Back in Lakewood, Ohio, Jim and Joanne Saleet are still waiting for their court decision. Most of their neighbors have agreed to sell if the project goes ahead. But the Saleets, plus a dozen others, are hanging tough.

“I thought I bought this place. But I guess I just leased it, until the city wants it,” says Jim Saleet. “That's what makes me very angry. This is my dream home. And I'm gonna fight for it.”

Neal Boortz' take on SCOTUS invalidating Fifth Amendment

Via Nealz Nuze.

Friday -- June 24, 2005


I cannot remember being more dismayed at a court ruling, and this includes the occasional ruling against me when I was practicing law. What ruling? Just in case you don't already know, the United States Supreme Court yesterday issued a ruling that goes a long way toward destroying private property rights in this country.

Background. The Fifth Amendment to our Constitution restricts the government's right of eminent domain. It does not, as I heard so many commentators say yesterday, grant a right of eminent domain, it restricts it. The right of eminent domain was assumed as a basic part of English Common Law. The Fifth Amendment merely said that government could not exercise this right for a public use without paying for it. The exact working is "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."

For hundreds of years the term "public use" was interpreted to mean use for something like a school, library, police or fire station, power transmission lines, roads, bridges or some other facility owned and operated by government for the benefit of the general population. As politicians became more and more impressed with their own power they started to expand this definition of public use.

The new theory is that increasing the property taxes paid on a parcel of property is a public use. Increasing the number of people who can be employed by a business located on a particular piece of property can also be a public use. This would mean that government would be free to seize private property if it can be handed to a developer who will redevelop the property so as to increase the property taxes paid or the number of people employed. This is the theory that was validated by the Supreme Court yesterday in its ruling approving just such a private property seizure in New London, Connecticut. As Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said in her dissent, this decision renders virtually all private property vulnerable to government confiscation.

Bottom line: If you own property, and the government wants that property --- you're screwed. You now own your private property only at the pleasure of government; and that means that you own your property, be it your home, your business or a piece of investment real estate only at the pleasure of the local controlling politicians.

Let me give you a few real-life examples of just how politicians can now use this Supreme Court decision. In considering these examples, please remember one of the first rules of politics: There is absolutely no limit whatsoever to a politician's desire for more tax money to spend.

First let's consider our lovely Southern Belle producer Belinda. Belinda and her husband recently purchased a tract of land behind her new home. That tract of land contains one rather small and old house plus some empty acreage. Belinda will rent the home for just enough to cover her debt service and property taxes on the new purchase ... maybe. Now, here comes a developer. He wants Belinda's land because he can build at least three, maybe four new homes on that property. Belinda says no. She likes not having houses abutting her back yard and appreciates the investment value of the land she has purchased. So .. the developer wanders off to the Capitol to talk to some politicians. He tells them that he can increase the property being paid on that tract of land tenfold if he could just get in there and build some houses, but the owners just won't sell the property to him. Under this Supreme court ruling the city can just seize the property from Belinda and hand it over to the developer to build those homes. Belinda has no way to stop this action. The city will have to play Belinda "just compensation," but that compensation will never match what Belinda might have earned by selling the property herself. Besides ... she didn't want to sell in the first place. It was her property, and she wanted to keep it. Now it can be taken ... just like that.

Another example. This time we'll use me. About two years ago I brought a building lot in the Northeast Georgia mountains. It's a lot in a mountain resort community. Before I bought the lot I made sure that there were no covenants or regulations that would require me to build a home on that lot before I was ready to do so. At present it is not my intention to build a home. I bought the lot as an investment. Now, since there is no home as of yet the property taxes are rather low. Along comes a developer. He wants to build a home on my lot. I tell him the lot is not for sale. He waltzes off to the local county commission to complain. He wants to build a house, I won't sell him the land. If he could build the house the property taxes would jump on that parcel of land. The county commission then sends me a letter telling me that if I don't sell my land to that developer to build that home they are going to seize the land and turn it over. Thanks to the Supreme Court, I'm screwed.

Now take the situation in New London. This is the case the court was considering. The targeted neighborhood is populated by middle class residents. The homes are old, but very well kept. One couple now slated to have their property seized is in their 80's. They celebrated their wedding in that home. They raised their children in that home. They held their 50th wedding anniversary party in that home. Now they're going to lose that home because a developer wants the property to build a hotel, some office buildings and a work out center. This is America. This shouldn't happen in America. That couple shouldn't be kicked out of their home just because a new development would pay more in property taxes.

There are also small businesses located on this tract of land. They're history. The big boys are in town, and the big boys can use eminent domain to get your property.

No society ostensibly based on economic liberty can survive unless that society recognizes the right to property. The right to property has been all but crippled by this decision from the Supreme Court. That right is now subject to the whims of politicians and developers.

I'm not through ranting. Read on.

Considering this ruling, how likely are you to invest in real estate at this point? If you saw a tract of land that was placed squarely in the path of growth, would you buy that property in hoes that you could later sell it for a substantial profit? I wouldn't. I wouldn't be interesting in investing in that property because I know that when it came time to sell the potential purchaser would lowball me on the price. I would never get a true market value based on the highest and best use of that property. And why not? Because the developer wanting that property would simply tell me that if I didn't' accept his lowball offer he would just go to the local government and start the eminent domain process. This ruling also means that virtually every piece of raw land out there has decreased in value. The threat of eminent domain for private economic development has severely damaged in most cases, and destroyed in many others, the American dream of investing in real estate.

Another element of the New London case. These middle class homes and small businesses were located on a waterfront. Everybody knows that middle class people and small businesses have no right to live on prime waterfront property. This property should be reserved for expensive homes and for big businesses with powerful political connections .. businesses like Pfizer Pharmaceutical company. Pfizer will be one of the beneficiaries of the New London seizures. This hideous Supreme Court ruling is going to result in a disgusting orgy of wealthy developers and politically powerful business interests using their political connections to ride roughshod over the property rights of poor and middle class property owners. I doubt seriously that you'll ever hear of some politician invoking eminent domain to seize property from a wealthy individual or business to make way for a low income housing project.

There's another element I want to add to this rant. I believe this Supreme Court decision to be a victory for the dark side in the war against individualism. Sadly, sometimes I think that I'm the only one out there who realizes that this war is being fought ... the only one on the side of individuality, that is. How in the world can leftist icon Ted Kennedy make say that "we are engaged in a war against individuality" without at least a few people in the media asking him what in the world he's talking about?

The concept of individuality is a very troublesome one for liberals. Recognizing the concept of the individual brings with it a whole lot of baggage that liberals don't want to carry around. When you acknowledge the existence of the individual you then have to recognize that the individual has rights. Among those rights would be the right to property. Liberals aren't friendly with the idea of property rights. They're fond of chanting such absurdities as "human rights, not property rights." Well, truthfully speaking; property has no rights. People have the right to property .. and those rights have been severely damaged.

Now ... is there a bright side? Is there anything good in the ruling? Yes, there is, and this is where you come in. Even though the Supremes approved these government confiscations of private property, the five justices who voted with the majority did say that they didn't like it. They encouraged local jurisdictions to pass laws severely restricting these seizures. There are eight states in the nation where the use of eminent domain for private development is all but prohibited by law. Those states are Washington, Montana, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, South Carolina and Florida. If your state is not on this list, it's time for a little political activism. Start the movement now. Let your legislators know that you want your private property rights restored, and that your decisions on election day will be governed by their willingness to act to preserve your rights.

The Supreme Court decision is a horrible blow to private property rights. Whether or not it is a death-blow will be up to you.

What can you do? Visit Institute For Justice & the Castle Coalition. There is also a blog that focuses on eminent domain issues.

Enter to Win While You Lose!

Darth Apathy and I came up with the idea for this Blog last night as we were discussing our disgust (because discussed disgust is better than merely cussed disgust) over the Supreme Court's decision to dismantle the 5th Amendment. We reflected on the fact that they just recently did the same to the 10th in the Medical Marijuana ruling, and also noted the wounds received by the 1st thanks to McRINO(er... McCain)-Feingold. So, taking a cue from a more famous Blogging institution, we decided to start....

A Constitution Dead Pool!

And you too can join in the fun! Here's how it works:

Post on the Pool at your own Blog, and link to this post, then track back to it. Both your post AND your trackback should list in order the next ten amendments or articles of the constitution that you think will be dismantled by some lame-brained ruling or law. A panel of 5 judges will run this Blog. Any time the news of such a law or ruling comes out, we will post to the Pool Blog asking, “Is [Article/Amendment Y] dead?” and leave the comments open for exactly 3 days. At the end of that time, comments will be closed, and the judges will vote. If the majority votes that yes, said law or ruling does gut said portion of the Constitution, then we will post our ruling, and add it to the list of fallen sections. We will then post the winners of that round of the pool based on the following scoring system:

20 Points if a contestant predicted the article or amendment in the right order
10 Points if the article or amendment is the next in line on the contestant’s list
5 Points if the contestant mentioned it at all

50 points each bonus if the contestant can predict beforehand the law or case which delivers the blow.

The above scoring is applied if the damage is done by a federal law or lower court ruling. Double scoring bonus if SCOTUS upholds the damage. Points will be halved (rounded down) if the amendment in question is the First or Second, since they’re already on the ropes.

Submit your list in order from 2-11, not 1-10, and do not include the Fifth Amendment, since it is considered as already having bit the dust.

Winning contestants of each round may receive prizes depending on the whims, mood, and budget of the judges -- or not.

Contest ends when the U.S. Constitution has been completely dismantled. Scores from all rounds will be tallied, overall standings posted, and all contest participants lined up against the wall and shot. Have fun!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Starting off

I'm going to start this off with some Cox & Forkum. Click the pic for the full size picture.


Welcome to the Constitution Death Pool. We are a group of concerned conservatives who are sick of watching our Constitution go down in flames.

Right now, the Constitution is under an unprecedented assault. In recent times, we have seen the anti-First Amendment law known as the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act, Supreme Court assaults on the Fifth and Tenth Amendments, and more assaults on the Second Amendment than we can possibly count.

This blog will be a venue for us to chronicle the actions of those who would trample our Constitutional rights in the name of political expediency. We will also be making an effort to coordinate contact with elected officials to let them know that we do not appreciate the paths our government has taken in recent times.

If you're as fed up as we are, feel free to contribute or jump into the debate with both feet.

The CDP Team