Kelo v. City of New London,

Pertinacious Tom

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Fixing Blight Tourism Revenue In Atlantic City

Charlie Birnbaum, piano tuner, homeowner, landlord, son of Holocaust survivors and famed eminent domain resister, had a message for Atlantic City about trying to take the family house, which overlooks a vast undeveloped area near the failed Revel casino.

"Do you need more of nothing?" he said after final arguments were presented Tuesday to Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez in his dispute with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). "I think they have plenty of nothing already."

Nobody could argue that point.

...

Lederman said the CRDA's broad goal of a mixed-use development connected with a larger lighthouse-area redevelopment was sufficient justification. The Revel casino, which envisioned a developed neighborhood around it, went bankrupt, shut down, and was sold during the course of the action against Birnbaum.

In any case, Lederman said, "the Revel is irrelevant to this proceeding." The goal is "to promote non-casino revenue."

"Atlantic City has suffered and continues to suffer," he said. "The CRDA did not make this decision alone. It was done by the Legislature."

Robert McNamara, senior attorney with the Arlington, Va.-based Institute for Justice, which has taken on Birnbaum's cause, said that the project was "originally driven by private consultants to the Revel casino."

The current stated purpose - encouraging development in the tourism district - would fall under "economic development" - a purpose for which New Jersey requires a declaration of blight.

"This is a blue-sky taking to build something at some point," McNamara said, adding that courts across the country have rejected similarly vague plans as justification.

The CRDA, which offered Birnbaum $240,000, did not attempt to declare Birnbaum's house or the surrounding neighborhood blighted. It contends that the tourism-district legislation supplies sufficient public purpose - akin to building a road, a library, or a school - to allow eminent domain.

"Do you need the Birnbaums' home for what you need to do there?" Mendez asked Lederman.

Lederman said proving "necessity" to the judge would only be required if there was a showing of bad faith or abuse of discretion.

Mendez countered that Birnbaum contends the CRDA has, in effect, "cherry picked" his property for seizing, while leaving vacant lots across the street - some of which are for sale - alone.

Lederman said the CRDA had determined Birnbaum's house was part of its future plans. It said it left out some low- and moderate-income housing, as that would be consistent with future development of the neighborhood.

McNamara said that in this case it was necessary for the CRDA to be specific about what would replace Birnbaum's house, as that would determine if it was for a broad definition of economic development, or for a specific public purpose, like a park. That would then determine the right of the CRDA to take the property.

Mendez, who has been hearing arguments on this case since May, said he would issue a ruling in the next several days.

The CRDA recently approved a $30 million loan for Boraie Development L.L.C. to partner with Shaquille O'Neal to build a mid-rise apartment building and mixed-use development nearby.

"This isn't an isolated project," Lederman said. "The promotion of tourism is a valid public purpose."

Birnbaum said he does not want to stand in the way of a legitimate purpose, but is still waiting to hear one.
So they need to seize his house now to do something, someday, with casino owners or maybe Shaq.

And this fellow is disrupting that public purpose by preventing the transfer of his home to the obviously-needy Shaq.

 

RedTuna

Super Anarchist
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This case is a perfect example of why Justices besides Clarence Thomas should practice an original general meaning approach to the Constitutionality of laws, rather than deferring to stacked precedences that deviate so far from what is right.

So, in deciding cases, Thomas turns to founding-era documents not only to identify the original intention of the framers, the original understanding of the ratifiers, or the original public meaning of the Constitution’s words and phrases but then to find agreement among these “multiple sources of evidence” and thereby to ascertain the “general meaning shown in common by all relevant sources.
Brilliant man. The Constitution is the ultimate precedent.

http://www.libertylawsite.org/liberty-forum/understanding-clarence-thomas-the-jurisprudence-of-constitutional-restoration/

Thanks for the reminder, Tom.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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His originalist approach yields some interesting results.

What do the words "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" mean?

Thomas said

The most natural reading of the Clause is that it allows the government to take property only if the government owns, or the public has a legal right to use, the property, as opposed to taking it for any public purpose or necessity whatsoever.
He's outta control.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Punta Gorda FL
Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday, dear Kelo,

Happy birthday to you.

Ten years old. They grow up so fast.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/06/22/my-wall-street-journal-op-ed-on-the-10th-anniversary-of-kelo-v-city-of-new-london/

Making bad decisions on perhaps otherwise good precedent can surely suck.
Although Kelo was a painful defeat for advocates of property rights, it led to important progress. The ruling generated an enormous backlash…
Enormous. You can still just feel the echoes of that backlash in this thread.

 

nannygovtsucks

Super Anarchist
15,365
4
House Judiciary Committee Revisits Kelo, Decides State of Property Rights Not Good

The Institute for Justice represented Susette Kelo when her house was condemned by the city in 2000. This week, Dan Alban, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, was the first witness at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice hearing to investigate the state of property rights in America ten years after the decision that devastated the Fifth Amendment.

Alban testified that if the government is given the power to transfer property from one private party to another, property will be transferred to those who are wealthy and well connected. He explained that while 44 states reformed their eminent domain laws in the wake of Kelo, the reforms were not extensive enough and abuse of eminent domain actually tripled.

While Kelo’s property was originally taken with the purpose of positively affecting the community, the development project was abandoned and the land where her home once stood is now a vacant lot.

Alban wants to make sure federal funds are not used to support forced transfers of property.

“There is still a strong need for Congress to take action,” Alban explained, pointing to the fact that some states, like New York, have taken no action at all to protect the property rights of individuals.

Chairman Franks (R-AZ) said that personal property rights are at the foundation of our society and we have a duty to protect them “in the face of increasing regulations.” This sentiment was echoed around most of the room. Representative Goodlatte (R-VA) said that the Kelo decision served to “trample on Americans’ property rights” and “no one should live in fear of the government snatching up” their property. Goodlatte went on to cite that only 10% of those whose property is seized receive compensation.

Representatives Conyers (D-MI) and Cohen (D-TN) were the voice of opposition in the room, ironically enough taking a stance in favor of states’ rights. Conyers contested any action by congress, saying that he wishes to “respect principles of federalism” and believes “federal intervention is unnecessary and inappropriate at this time.”

Cohen came off as bombastic, incoherent, and disrespectful, yelling at the witnesses and repeatedly asking if the Koch brothers were funding their organizations, implying that the witnesses were swayed by money as opposed to defending liberty on their own belief systems.
 

Pertinacious Tom

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Punta Gorda FL
The Institute for Justice Wins Another One

Today, Judge Julio Mendez of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that the state’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) is not allowed to condemn the longtime family home of local piano-tuner Charlie Birnbaum unless it comes forward with more evidence justifying the taking. The order gives CRDA 180 days to “reevaluate the feasibility of the proposed project” and provide the court with more evidence to justify the taking.

Today’s decision is the latest development in a case, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority v. Birnbaum, that has drawn national attention. The battle pits Birnbaum, a longtime Atlantic City fixture who has tuned pianos for acts like Frank Sinatra since 1980, against a state agency that is trying to use eminent domain to seize his longtime family home, which Charlie inherited from his parents, both Holocaust survivors.
I think this judge took notice of the vacant land where Kelo's home used to be and decided not to enable a repeat.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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The Donald on Kelo vs New London

In 2005, however, Trump was delighted to find that the Supreme Court had okayed the brand of government-abetted theft that he’d twice attempted. “I happen to agree with it 100 percent,” he told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto of the Kelo decision.
Amazing that the poster boy for crony capitalism is somehow seen as a person who won't use government to screw people.



 

Pertinacious Tom

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Donald Trump elaborates on how pesky property rights get in the way of economic development

I think eminent domain is wonderful, if you're building a highway, and you need to build, as an example, a highway, and you're going to be blocked by a holdout, or, in some cases, it's a holdout—just so you understand, nobody knows this better than I do, because I built a lot of buildings in Manhattan, and you'll have 12 sites and you'll get 11 and you'll have the one holdout and you end up building around them and everything else, okay? So, I know it better than anybody. I think eminent domain for massive projects, for instance, you're going to create thousands of jobs, and you have somebody that's in the way, and you pay that person far more—don't forget, eminent domain, they get a lot of money, and you need a house in a certain location, because you're going to build this massive development that's going to employ thousands of people, or you're going to build a factory, that without this little house, you can't build the factory—I think eminent domain is fine.
Seems to me the "you didn't build that" critique could not be more accurate in cases like he describes.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Government takes family's land near Area 51

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/government-takes-familys-land-near-area-51

Private land overlooking the secret base at Area 51 has officially been taken from the owners and transferred to the United States Air Force.

Last month, the U.S. Air Force condemned the Groom Mine property when the family who owns it rejected a government buyout they felt was unjust.

The I-Team broke the story of the family's fight with the government.

The Sheahan family, which until now owned the mine, knew they faced an uphill fight. They also expected the government would probably take the land through eminent domain even though the Sheahan's owned it since Abe Lincoln was in the White House.

Now -- literally with the stroke of a pen -- a federal judge has turned the land over to the U.S. Air Force. The only part of the fight left for the Sheahan family now is compensation and what will happen to the equipment, buildings, even human remains, still at the site.

In the remote central Nevada desert, the Groom mine has been an island of private property surrounded by a vast government buffer zone. The buffer zone is patrolled by security troops to prevent people from getting a look at the secret test base at Groom Lake -- better known as Area 51.

The family who owns the mine overlooking Area 51 has been at odds with the air force, which condemned the property last month, after the family declined a $5.2 million buyout.

"I have a geologist friend who I took out there, who's just a buff, and he said it is literally almost priceless," said Barbara Sheahan, Groom Mine heir. "There is so much there, not only the ore which is in the ground that can be mined, but in all the intrinsic value of what's on the land."

What's on the land includes buildings, mining equipment and the remains of kin who worked the mine since the family acquired it in the 1870s.

There's also the question of indignities suffered by the family from nearby government testing including buildings strafed by military planes and radiation drifting downwind from above ground nuclear shots in 50s and 60s.

"This has been like I said a 60-plus year nothing short of criminal activity on the part of the federal government, the AEC, Black Ops, CIA and you can go on and on," said Joe Sheahan, Groom Mine heir.

On Sept. 16, federal Judge Miranda Du signed the order in the condemnation case giving possession of the Groom Mine property to the United States government. The Sheahan's have asked for a jury trial, but the issues will be limited to how much the air force must pay for the land and the disposition of the equipment and personal property left on the site.

"There's nothing fair, there's nothing anything remotely close to that involved in this process," said Joe Sheahan.

"But there never has been either, so it's nothing new. But we would like to change it at least to get our stuff out and be paid the value," Barbara Sheahan said.

The air force made its final, $5 million offer to the Sheahan family after concluding that the security and safety of defense testing in that area made private land ownership impossible.

It the condemnation case, the air force values the land at only $1.5 million.

The Sheahan's say it's worth much more than that considering the value of the minerals in the mine, the abuses the family has suffered over decades and the land' s historical significance.
Hmm... so the government offered $5 million and now says that just compensation is $1.5 million.

So the offer was way too high or the compensation being offered is not just.

 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
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Government takes family's land near Area 51

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/government-takes-familys-land-near-area-51

Private land overlooking the secret base at Area 51 has officially been taken from the owners and transferred to the United States Air Force.

Last month, the U.S. Air Force condemned the Groom Mine property when the family who owns it rejected a government buyout they felt was unjust.

The I-Team broke the story of the family's fight with the government.

The Sheahan family, which until now owned the mine, knew they faced an uphill fight. They also expected the government would probably take the land through eminent domain even though the Sheahan's owned it since Abe Lincoln was in the White House.

Now -- literally with the stroke of a pen -- a federal judge has turned the land over to the U.S. Air Force. The only part of the fight left for the Sheahan family now is compensation and what will happen to the equipment, buildings, even human remains, still at the site.

In the remote central Nevada desert, the Groom mine has been an island of private property surrounded by a vast government buffer zone. The buffer zone is patrolled by security troops to prevent people from getting a look at the secret test base at Groom Lake -- better known as Area 51.

The family who owns the mine overlooking Area 51 has been at odds with the air force, which condemned the property last month, after the family declined a $5.2 million buyout.

"I have a geologist friend who I took out there, who's just a buff, and he said it is literally almost priceless," said Barbara Sheahan, Groom Mine heir. "There is so much there, not only the ore which is in the ground that can be mined, but in all the intrinsic value of what's on the land."

What's on the land includes buildings, mining equipment and the remains of kin who worked the mine since the family acquired it in the 1870s.

There's also the question of indignities suffered by the family from nearby government testing including buildings strafed by military planes and radiation drifting downwind from above ground nuclear shots in 50s and 60s.

"This has been like I said a 60-plus year nothing short of criminal activity on the part of the federal government, the AEC, Black Ops, CIA and you can go on and on," said Joe Sheahan, Groom Mine heir.

On Sept. 16, federal Judge Miranda Du signed the order in the condemnation case giving possession of the Groom Mine property to the United States government. The Sheahan's have asked for a jury trial, but the issues will be limited to how much the air force must pay for the land and the disposition of the equipment and personal property left on the site.

"There's nothing fair, there's nothing anything remotely close to that involved in this process," said Joe Sheahan.

"But there never has been either, so it's nothing new. But we would like to change it at least to get our stuff out and be paid the value," Barbara Sheahan said.

The air force made its final, $5 million offer to the Sheahan family after concluding that the security and safety of defense testing in that area made private land ownership impossible.

It the condemnation case, the air force values the land at only $1.5 million.

The Sheahan's say it's worth much more than that considering the value of the minerals in the mine, the abuses the family has suffered over decades and the land' s historical significance.
Hmm... so the government offered $5 million and now says that just compensation is $1.5 million.

So the offer was way too high or the compensation being offered is not just.
i guess you should take the first offer

 

Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
61,309
1,681
Punta Gorda FL
Government takes family's land near Area 51

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/government-takes-familys-land-near-area-51

Private land overlooking the secret base at Area 51 has officially been taken from the owners and transferred to the United States Air Force.

Last month, the U.S. Air Force condemned the Groom Mine property when the family who owns it rejected a government buyout they felt was unjust.

The I-Team broke the story of the family's fight with the government.

The Sheahan family, which until now owned the mine, knew they faced an uphill fight. They also expected the government would probably take the land through eminent domain even though the Sheahan's owned it since Abe Lincoln was in the White House.

Now -- literally with the stroke of a pen -- a federal judge has turned the land over to the U.S. Air Force. The only part of the fight left for the Sheahan family now is compensation and what will happen to the equipment, buildings, even human remains, still at the site.

In the remote central Nevada desert, the Groom mine has been an island of private property surrounded by a vast government buffer zone. The buffer zone is patrolled by security troops to prevent people from getting a look at the secret test base at Groom Lake -- better known as Area 51.

The family who owns the mine overlooking Area 51 has been at odds with the air force, which condemned the property last month, after the family declined a $5.2 million buyout.

"I have a geologist friend who I took out there, who's just a buff, and he said it is literally almost priceless," said Barbara Sheahan, Groom Mine heir. "There is so much there, not only the ore which is in the ground that can be mined, but in all the intrinsic value of what's on the land."

What's on the land includes buildings, mining equipment and the remains of kin who worked the mine since the family acquired it in the 1870s.

There's also the question of indignities suffered by the family from nearby government testing including buildings strafed by military planes and radiation drifting downwind from above ground nuclear shots in 50s and 60s.

"This has been like I said a 60-plus year nothing short of criminal activity on the part of the federal government, the AEC, Black Ops, CIA and you can go on and on," said Joe Sheahan, Groom Mine heir.

On Sept. 16, federal Judge Miranda Du signed the order in the condemnation case giving possession of the Groom Mine property to the United States government. The Sheahan's have asked for a jury trial, but the issues will be limited to how much the air force must pay for the land and the disposition of the equipment and personal property left on the site.

"There's nothing fair, there's nothing anything remotely close to that involved in this process," said Joe Sheahan.

"But there never has been either, so it's nothing new. But we would like to change it at least to get our stuff out and be paid the value," Barbara Sheahan said.

The air force made its final, $5 million offer to the Sheahan family after concluding that the security and safety of defense testing in that area made private land ownership impossible.

It the condemnation case, the air force values the land at only $1.5 million.

The Sheahan's say it's worth much more than that considering the value of the minerals in the mine, the abuses the family has suffered over decades and the land' s historical significance.
Hmm... so the government offered $5 million and now says that just compensation is $1.5 million.

So the offer was way too high or the compensation being offered is not just.
i guess you should take the first offer
Probably so, and just accept the fact that W was right. It's "just a goddamn piece of paper." So what if it has gobblydegook in there about not taking private property for pubic use without just compensation? Stupid bill of rights. random is right to deride our precious "freedom."

I would not have guessed you for a W fan, Raz.

 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
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Sounds like it went through due process. Air Force was willing to pay $5m for a piece of dirt and worn out/shot up buildings. Owners got greedy and thought they could get more. Pigs get slaughtered, right?

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Punta Gorda FL
Sounds like it went through due process. Air Force was willing to pay $5m for a piece of dirt and worn out/shot up buildings. Owners got greedy and thought they could get more. Pigs get slaughtered, right?
You're assuming the initial offer was fair (which means you are assuming that the current offer is not) but my experience is that this may not be true.

When the government wanted to acquire Kendall Gliderport from my former boss to add it to the Everglades National Park, their interest in the property immediately made it far less valuable. Who wants to buy something that is about to be taken? So they offered her the market value AFTER their interest was announced, which was far different from the market value before.

That did not seem like just compensation to her and she was offended when a govt official proudly announced they had done it to "save tax money" on the deal. Her reaction: saving the taxpayers by screwing an old couple out of their retirement plan is unjust. She sued. Last I heard, the government was fighting it mostly by waiting for her and her husband to die.

This case might well be the same. Whatever they're mining might make the property worth far more than $5 million. They apparently thought it was worth more or they would not have refused the offer.

Don't assume that only individuals can be greedy and try to take unfair advantage of a situation. It's possible that government employees can act that way too.

 
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