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Eminent Domain story here

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't know about anyone else here, but I am one unhappy camper with some of the rulings the Supreme Court has made recently.

Local governments using Eminent Domain to grant ownership to private interests to develop the land is just plain wrong, IMO. I don't care if a shopping mall would bring more revenue, eminent domain shouldn't be used to raze declining residential neighborhoods, which is what this is opening up. I think this ruling is a huge mistake!

Seems like they wanted to have it both ways with the 10 Commandments on public, government controlled property. If it's in a "historic context" it can stay, if not it goes. Couldn't it be argued, as it has been argued here, that the laws of the land are "based" on the 10 Commandments, so they should be allowed in courthouses?

And of course, the Grokster ruling. I don't agree with that at all, as it basically reverses the Betamax ruling that technology cannot be punished for the manner in which it is used. File sharing is a fact of life now, and there are so many LEGAL uses of it, it shouldn't be stagnated because of the greed of the music and movie industries.

Any rulings you feel strongly one way or another about?
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I don't know about anyone else here, but I am one unhappy camper with some of the rulings the Supreme Court has made recently.

Local governments using Eminent Domain to grant ownership to private interests to develop the land is just plain wrong, IMO. I don't care if a shopping mall would bring more revenue, eminent domain shouldn't be used to raze declining residential neighborhoods, which is what this is opening up. I think this ruling is a huge mistake!

Seems like they wanted to have it both ways with the 10 Commandments on public, government controlled property. If it's in a "historic context" it can stay, if not it goes. Couldn't it be argued, as it has been argued here, that the laws of the land are "based" on the 10 Commandments, so they should be allowed in courthouses?
Oh Heidi, the Eminent Domain ruling scares the hell out of me! Makes me afraid to become a home owner. Some people spend 20, 30, 40 years turning their house into a home...they raise children there....they spend thousands of dollars to fix it up to their liking....and then Wal Mart decides they want to move to your neighborhood and you can lose your home? ::censor::censor::censor:: I am really disappointed with the Supreme Court on that one.

Regarding the 10 Commandments....I am EMPHATICALLY against the merger of church and state (keep them separate!). Yes, people could argue that many of our laws are based on the 10 Commandments. But HELLO! Thou shalt not kill. 10 Commandments or not, that is just common sense! So I say keep 'em out of the court rooms. That in no way changes the course of justice.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes
Oh Heidi, the Eminent Domain ruling scares the hell out of me! Makes me afraid to become a home owner. Some people spend 20, 30, 40 years turning their house into a home...they raise children there....they spend thousands of dollars to fix it up to their liking....and then Wal Mart decides they want to move to your neighborhood and you can lose your home? ::censor::censor::censor:: I am really disappointed with the Supreme Court on that one.
I totally agree Amy. There's a project that has been proposed here in Colorado to build a private toll road all the way down the state from Ft. Collins to at least Pueblo about 30 miles east of the I-25 corridor. Which is right smack through hundreds of family-owned farms. The farmers don't want it. The small communities that it's planned to go through don't want it. And who in the heck wants a toll-road?? Within 24 hours of the ruling, there was talk of this being used to back the private interest group who wants to build the toll road for the toll profits.

I've also heard talk that it's feasible with this ruling to raze the low income neighborhoods and build more expensive homes because that would increase the property value, therefore raising the property taxes. If the government makes more money off the land, they can claim "public interest" and seize the land.

So much for the American Dream of owning your own home.

I can only HOPE that states pass laws and FAST that limit what eminent domain can and cannot be used for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes
Regarding the 10 Commandments....I am EMPHATICALLY against the merger of church and state (keep them separate!). Yes, people could argue that many of our laws are based on the 10 Commandments. But HELLO! Thou shalt not kill. 10 Commandments or not, that is just common sense! So I say keep 'em out of the court rooms. That in no way changes the course of justice.


It seems that ruling may be slightly selfish as well. There are multiple references in artwork/sculpture in the Supreme Court building to the 10 Commandments, as well as other historical law references. If they ruled that the 10 Commandments had no place at all in any courtroom, they would have had to do major construction on their own courtroom.
post #4 of 22
The 10c ruling makes more sense to me after I had it clarified on Lehrer.
It had to do with the context, (beyer was the deciding vote on both btw, interesting..) at Texas it was *part of* a bunch of *other* displays about the history of Texas. In Kentucky it was more in your face in the halls, a statement unto itself with an agenda. So I think it makes sense. Apparenlty it was quite dramatic during the ruling, Scalia made some impassioned speach about the kentucky decision being wrong.
post #5 of 22
I am very very scared of the Eminent Domain ruleing. I think its horrible just horrible. We are looking to buy our first home and land, and Now i am scared too..i dont want to spend time and money and love turning it into something only to have it taken away..

makes me think of being like jesse james...*nods and thinks of a scene in american outlaws*
post #6 of 22
Don't forget with domain they will be compensated.

The thing is I don't care for it taking over private farms, or for things other than blight. I do know in the past it has been necessary for blight. In the Filmore area of San francisco for instance in the 60's, it had gotten so bad, and so they paid people off and just gutted it and rebuilt. now that area is so nice and functional.

I am sure part of the ruling was due to it being their job to follow the constitution and its in there.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, they will be compensated "fair market value". Or depending on the law of the state, it could be based on "assessed value" which is generally much lower than market. (I used to work in a real estate appraisal firm, and was considering going into that business for a bit, so I know a little about this.)

But how much does that mean if you're in a declining neighborhood? Most likely not enough to purchase another house, since homebuilders just plain don't build starter-homes anymore. At least they don't around here. Or if they could find another house of close to the same value, it would likely be in the same type of condition or worse, or in another declining neighborhood, therefore in the same danger of being sold to the developers by the State. If you can't purchase another piece of real estate, the money becomes a tax liability.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Yes, they will be compensated "fair market value". Or depending on the law of the state, it could be based on "assessed value" which is generally much lower than market. (I used to work in a real estate appraisal firm, and was considering going into that business for a bit, so I know a little about this.)

But how much does that mean if you're in a declining neighborhood? Most likely not enough to purchase another house, since homebuilders just plain don't build starter-homes anymore. At least they don't around here. Or if they could find another house of close to the same value, it would likely be in the same type of condition or worse, or in another declining neighborhood, therefore in the same danger of being sold to the developers by the State. If you can't purchase another piece of real estate, the money becomes a tax liability.

I don't know the history of how they pay for this kind of thing,, I just know of that one situation where they paid off the residents, and redid the neighborhood and it was literally the only choice.

I did hear too that there have been times where "blight" was pretty broadly suggested. So yeah I hope that states have a say in how this is decided.
post #9 of 22
I scares me as well, although the benefits do seem obvious. I can understand the logic- but that still doesn't make it right to me. It almost smacks of red-lining and is just overall too close to that concept for comfort. My undergraduate university forced several people out of homes that had been in their families for years- all to build a new music building and a parking garage. I would hate to be that homeowner and to be forced out of the house I've made a home. The only way I could see this justified is for the idiots who build houses on flood plains (or other similarly stupid areas), which happens all too often around here. It's very difficult to get flood insurance around here, and this is one of the reasons!
post #10 of 22
I agree with everyone else that the Eminent Domain ruling is not a good ruling from the Supreme Court. It also makes me wary of owning my own home one day.

And the 10 Commandments rulings today send mixed messages completely. It's just the right thing to outrage supporters of both sides of the issue.

Quote:
It seems that ruling may be slightly selfish as well. There are multiple references in artwork/sculpture in the Supreme Court building to the 10 Commandments, as well as other historical law references. If they ruled that the 10 Commandments had no place at all in any courtroom, they would have had to do major construction on their own courtroom.
That makes a lot of sense.
post #11 of 22
I don't agree with the buying of private property ruling either. Now the government can put anything anywhere regardless of how you feel. Just doesn't make sence to me. Something tells me that our founders would not agree with that, but that's just me.
post #12 of 22
Vis-a-vis placing a public infrastructure improvements through poor neighborhoods, there is a term called "environmental justice" that is a part of the National Environmental Policy Act. Basically, it says that you can't put an improvement that will serve the broader public through a poor area just because you'll meet with less moneyed resistance there. You are obligated to choose the option that is best for the improvement. It prevents things like, oh, a sewage plant being placed in the poor neighborhood just because the rich don't want it next to them. So, that's one partial limit on that VERY worrisome ruling.

The ruling on religious items I actually agree with. I think it is a case-by-case issue. Not all religous displays on government property are inherently problematic. It is the displays that seek to promote one religion over another that are the problem. Hence, the frieze on the Supreme Court building that shows Moses holding the Commandments isn't a problem, because it is part of the historic structure and its purpose there is not to promote Christianity. The ruling prevents people from having to go around defacing historic monuments and structures simply to avoid offending people. However, there are plenty of examples of displays that are not part of any historic context, and are there purely to promote religion, and these need removal. Historic context, by the way, doesn't just mean that it is based on something old. For instance, if you carve a picture today of Moses holding the commandments on a court building, while it may be part of our historic culture, it is NOT historic and would not necessarily be protected by this ruling. Like the difference between an original Van Gough and a copy. One is worth something, and the other is . . . not.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Now THIS is funny!

http://freestarmedia.com/hotellostliberty2.html

As a protest, and yet with complete seriousness, a developer is requesting that he be given the land that Justice Souter currently owns and resides on to build a hotel....called Lost Liberty Hotel. He assures the city council that the tax revenue would increase for the town with the development of this land into a hotel. It would only take 3 of 5 of the city council members to approve the project. Now wouldn't THAT be ironic!
post #14 of 22
I hope they do it.
post #15 of 22
Of course if you *aren't* American then it's aok to bomb/seize your home...in your home country then if we "perceive" a threat? Liberty is just for Americans? On American soil?
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Now THIS is funny!

http://freestarmedia.com/hotellostliberty2.html

As a protest, and yet with complete seriousness, a developer is requesting that he be given the land that Justice Souter currently owns and resides on to build a hotel....called Lost Liberty Hotel. He assures the city council that the tax revenue would increase for the town with the development of this land into a hotel. It would only take 3 of 5 of the city council members to approve the project. Now wouldn't THAT be ironic!

THAT would be justice
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Now THIS is funny!

http://freestarmedia.com/hotellostliberty2.html

As a protest, and yet with complete seriousness, a developer is requesting that he be given the land that Justice Souter currently owns and resides on to build a hotel....called Lost Liberty Hotel. He assures the city council that the tax revenue would increase for the town with the development of this land into a hotel. It would only take 3 of 5 of the city council members to approve the project. Now wouldn't THAT be ironic!

Now that would be justice. It will be interesting to see if Souter tries to fight it. Well, what's wrong there Judge Souter..... it's ok to take other people's land but not your land? Well, too bad. I think I would love to check into Lost Liberty Hotel.

I hope this developer is successful!
post #18 of 22
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...AGO4DI6GJ1.DTL

Man this is rough. I do know that area and if they don't do something fast it's going to be unihabitable though. People who don't live in or near urban areas don't know just how bad certain areas can get.
post #19 of 22
When the supreme court made the ruling on the ten commandments it really scares me and feels like we are loosing our religious freedom here. Why are we becoming so inconsiderate when it comes to religious freedom? I would really move out of the states to Canada or Europe if I could.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover7731
When the supreme court made the ruling on the ten commandments it really scares me and feels like we are loosing our religious freedom here. Why are we becoming so inconsiderate when it comes to religious freedom? I would really move out of the states to Canada or Europe if I could.
I don't think the ruling is inconsiderate or a dent into religious freedom. Quite the opposite. It does not require that all displays of religious items on gov't property be removed, only those that promote one religion at the expense of another. That is quite considerate. For instance, imagine you are Islamic and you walk in to a court for a hearing about a traffic ticket, and in the lobby you see a big display of the 10 Commandments, which is readily identified by everyone as a Christian article. Don't you think you might wonder, especially given the sometimes aggressive climate against Islam in the U.S. right now, if you may not get a fair hearing if the judge knew you were Islamic? It is important, for the purposes of religious freedom, to provide a climate in which ALL religions feel free, not just the majority religion in this country.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi
For instance, imagine you are Islamic and you walk in to a court for a hearing about a traffic ticket, and in the lobby you see a big display of the 10 Commandments, which is readily identified by everyone as a Christian article. Don't you think you might wonder, especially given the sometimes aggressive climate against Islam in the U.S. right now, if you may not get a fair hearing if the judge knew you were Islamic? It is important, for the purposes of religious freedom, to provide a climate in which ALL religions feel free, not just the majority religion in this country.
It appears the Muslim community does not have a problem with the 10 commandments, not do the Jews or Christians. I believe in separation of church and state, too, but that doesn't mean elimination of all things of Christian heritage! I didn't follow that ruling as closely as the emminent domain-maybe we can have a TCS get-together at Suter's house-I mean hotel!


"Thus, while Islam doesn’t exactly have its own "Ten Commandments," it does have its own versions of many of the basic prohibitions given in the Ten Commandments. Because they accept the Bible as an earlier revelation of God they don’t object to things like displays of the commandments in public spaces. At the same time, though, they aren’t likely to see such displays as a religious duty or necessity because as described above they don’t accept the absolute authority of the Bible."

http://atheism.about.com/od/tencommandments/a/islam.htm
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
It appears the Muslim community does not have a problem with the 10 commandments, not do the Jews or Christians. I believe in separation of church and state, too, but that doesn't mean elimination of all things of Christian heritage! I didn't follow that ruling as closely as the emminent domain-maybe we can have a TCS get-together at Suter's house-I mean hotel!
Well, as I tried to explain earlier, the ruling doesn't require that all things of Christian heritage be removed, only those whose purpose is to promote one specific religion at the expense of another. One of the 10 Commandments displays involved was actually ruled to be permissible, while the other was not. One was a gift, was part of a larger display of monuments, and was there since early 1950. The other was a more recent addition, and was put in place by the justices of the court, and based on much of the information at trial was posted specifically to promote Christianity above other religions. Thus, one was deemed okey-dokey, and the other was not. I think a good balance has been struck between respecting historic displays of religious items and respecting the needs of other religions and religous practicioners. And my example of a muslim was drawn from someone I know, who expressed discomfort.
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