The story of a private developer looking to use the recent Supreme Court ruling to take Justice Souter’s land away from him has raced across the blogosphere. Quite correctly, there’s a lot of anger about this court ruling, and its well deserved.
Right Thinking’s Lee writes,
Iâ€™d love to see it happen, but Iâ€™m not going to count on it. Though I canâ€™t think of anything more appropriate, except to have his land stolen so that a Wal-Mart Supercenter could be built in its place.
But as satisfying as it is to read about the proposed siezing of Souter’s land, the demolishment of his house, there is another aspect to consider. Remember when Tom Delay, following the Schiavo ruling, threatened judges? Although the judges followed the law, he threatened violent retaliation against them, and was soundly criticized for it … including by me. Boston’s Carpundit quotes Randy Barnett: “Retaliating against a judge for the good faith exercise of his duty is. . .a bad idea.” Carpundit also opinions,
…retaliating against a judge for construing a law is an especially odious kind of retaliation. Much worse than a mere retaliation for an official’s action, it is an attack on one of the key underpinnings of our society of laws: judicial review, the rule of law itself. Is it mugging Scalia? No. But it isn’t less wrong.
There is something the government could do, of course. They could pass a law saying something like, “Private land can only be seized for a neccessary public good.” I.E., a school or a highway. Of course, Congress would rather pass a law about how you shouldn’t wear boxers colored like the American flag.