souter, delay, and boxers

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,

I’d love to see it happen, but I’m not going to count on it. Though I can’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.

0 thoughts on “souter, delay, and boxers

  1. Yeah, I guess, my big problem with this whole thing is that all the Supreme Court did is say “yeah, we’re going to leave the law the way it’s been for the last 50 years” and it’s just that most Americans are completely unaware of the existence of Eminent Domain law, because they’d rather watch reality TV.

    It has been noted elsewhere (by someone who has actually lived there) that the town in question is a complete shithole, and any corporate interest in it is great for the town. When you look at almost any case like this at the individual level, it does suck for that individual, and it’s certainly very easy to say that “the city is abusing ED.”

    But:

    a) please note that it was the 5 most liberal judges that were in favor of kicking this back to the States (the decision was, essentially, that the Feds had no business deciding ED cases for the States, which Republicans fucking OUGHT to agree with, but don’t, because they’re hypocritical assholes), and:
    b) there are FOUR other judges that voted with Souter. He’s just the only one who has a house in NH, which is fucking filled with nutballs.

    Meanwhile, if you want an example of a much muddier ED case, consider that jackass that just robbed Struever of $1M for a shitty St. Paul Street rowhouse. While my heart sure as hell doesn’t bleed for Stuever, this is exactly the sort of case where ED should be employed.

  2. You can’t compare this retaliation to threatening violence, as was the case in Florida. No one is threatening to break the law. They are just threatening to have it upheld.