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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Thursday June 23, 2005
01:50 PM

Government for the people?

[ #25333 ]

I guess not being an American I really shouldn't comment, but this ruling really sucks. You can bet they won't be bulldozing rich people's homes.

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  • My god, I actually find myself agreeing with Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. Is that a pig flying outside my window?

    • Oh, boy. It's full steam ahead on stadium-building cronyism, then. Seize people's property and give it to team owners who promise future riches that the city somehow never sees.
      • No kidding. The conservatives on the court definitely were right that this was a stupid idea. I can't believe this was upheld.

        • I don't know anyone who likes this ruling, except for the justices who agreed with it, and various municipal officials who want to take peoples' land, and, of course, the developers who want to develop on it.
    • I'm just happy there were any dissenting justices at all. Both liberals and conservaties will at times gladly abuse eminent domain for "the greater good."

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • Robert Moses ! []
  • "Where are we going again, and why am I in this handbasket?"
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
  • I'm surprised that everyone is so surprised about this. But then again, we've got some experience with this in my family.

    My grandfather owned a dry cleaning shop in Philadelphia, right off of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. That is, until UofP decided it wanted to expand the campus and "liberate" a couple blocks of thriving commercial activity and rental properties. The site where my grandfather's store was is now part of the new Dental School. Actually, the parking lot for the dental sc

    • Unfortunate that all those things are, doesn't make any of it right.

      Am I shocked? Not really - the Patriot Act prepared us for just about any shocking act of government (not that this was the original sin by any stretch). But disappointed, yes.
      • Unfortunate that all those things are, doesn't make any of it right.
        It's not a question of right or wrong. It's just the way things are. That was what I was trying to highlight.

        It'd be nice to fix it all, but fixing it would take a revolu+++
        NO CARRIER

    • Right, but the difference is that UofP is part of the government. This case wasn't about the government taking private property for itself (that's what eminent domain has been about from the beginning), but about government taking property from one group of private owners (which in most cases will be small businesses and individual homeowners) and giving it to another group of private owners (which in most cases will be large developers and sports team owners), on the theory that the rich guys are better ab
      • Oops. I guess I mixed up UofP and Penn State. Still, the fact that this sort of thing has been going on for a while doesn't mean the Supreme Court is going to rule in its favor. It was a 5-4 decision, after all.
        • You're not the only one. I had a friend who did his undergrad at PSU and his grad work at UofP. Someone presented him a tshirt that said:

          Penn State University of Pennsylvania

          The long tradition of eminent domain certainly didn't pre-determine the court's decision. I haven't read the decision (yet), but the soundbite or two that I heard seem to indicate that the courts think this isn't a federal matter, and that municipal governments have the best idea as to what's a reasonable public benefit.


    • It's relatively rare for such takings for the direct benefit of a private institution like UPenn, though. (But it won't be rare anymore.)

      Take Social Security -- the government has made a "contract" with wage earners that they will support you with a safety net in your retirement in exchange for supporting retirees today. Except when they decide at some point in the future to rethink the deal and leave you high and dry...

      No promise of a specific level of future benefits was ever made, though, and no one
  • They're only doing it because the popular politicos are federally violating civil rights, though. They're good kids! They've been led down the wrong path by the administration.

    I blame society.


    You are what you think.