Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In legal news

Condemn-nation: This land was your land, but now it's my land. Dahlia's Dispatches from the Supreme Court. The idea that government can just come and TAKE YOUR LAND really creeps me out.

Johnson v. California was decided today. Categorizing by race is STILL NO GOOD says the Supreme Court, despite Scalia & Thomas's dissent pointing out that California means well. My opinion: don't know, actually.

1 comment:

ambimb said...

Thanks for pointing out the Kelo case. I have no problem w/eminent domain and I'd be happy to see gov'ts exercise it more, but only for truly public uses. The Poletown precedent is the best argument against what's going on w/Kelo -- GM got a huge windfall from that exercise of eminent domain and the public got basically shat upon. (Sorry if this is a fambly weblog, but that's the truth.) I bet in the Kelo deal Pfizer would make out like a bandit, as would a bunch of upper-middle-class people who work for Pfizer and can afford to live and play in this new developement, while the regular janes and joes would get nada except for more designer drugs that give them higher sex drives but don't help w/serious everyday health problems and that they can't afford anyway. The rampant corporate welfare in this country makes me ill.

Oops. Did you ask for a rant? No. But one more use of eminent domain I'd really like to see: The gov't should condemn Lexis and Westlaw, buy them out, and then create a publicly-funded entity to maintain and update a single, freely-available online legal research database. Something like that would truly be in the public interest, but it will never happen. Pfizer and GM get the handouts, but the millions of Americans who would benefit if every lawyer had free and easy access to the same research materials? Yeah, they get only what they can pay for.

I'll stop now. My point was: Eminent domain can be a great thing, but not when it's just another name for corporate welfare.