Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Supreme Court on Private property

Today there was a contrast that I thought was interesting. At Econologthere was a post about libertarians - with a great quote
"Libertarians see the state as just another human institution, with the same moral status as a supermarket or a bowling league."

It was especially timely as the Supreme Court issued its land use decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The slim majority argued that it was ok to move a couple of families out of their homes merely because some local government unit had decided that an economic development project took precedent. There is a good post - including a copy of the decision here.

Glen Reynolds at Instapundit has a witty post wondering whether this court is the Emily Latella Court - this was not one of Anthony Kennedy's finest hours. Instapundit includes a comment from Charles Fried

I think the quote on libertarians is a bit off the mark - indeed there are some limited number of instances where a governmental decision should take precedent. But as several pointed out today there should be some very stringent considerations in making that type of decision. In the same way that taxes should be raised with supermajorities - eminent domain decisions should be made with some extraordinary procedures.