Wednesday, December 20, 2006

When to pay attention

Over on, guest-blogger Alex describes an egregious case of eminent domain and wonders what the Supreme Court will do about it.

Well, I don't know. And, as much as I didn't like the result of the Kelo ruling, I can't say with confidence that it was the wrong ruling.

I think the real problem is that people don't pay attention to these things until they get to the Supreme Court. Yes, the Supreme Court should act as a check against tyrannical governments, but if I'm counting on the Supreme Court to keep my local municipality from taking my house, I'm not doing my job as a citizen.

But we don't. And when something like Kelo happens, we blame the Supreme Court, rather than the local government that thought this was a good idea in the first place. And then Supreme Court openings become ultimate high stakes contests, and everyone digs in their heels.

Also on, Alex compares the primary season with two methods of evaluating presidential candidates -- power rankings vs. resume.

Of course the key difference is that regardless of the early season power rankings, every team plays their full schedule, and can build up a resume to be used when that takes precendence. In the primary season, candidates who do poorly in the early power rankings drop out and don't get to build a resume.


august said...

Agree on the property issue. Distrust of government has gotten so widespread that people won't even take on local government, which is where this sort of thing takes place most often, and is also where individuals can make the biggest difference.

It seems to me there is an argument about "just compensation." How do you know what's just if the price isn't determined by market mechanisms?

run75441 said...


You do understand the Kelo decision reaffirmed the right to eminent domain? which was decided by the Supreme Court initially in 1984 under Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff. This is not anything new; but, it is a rehashing of something old.

The real issue is determining fair market value of confiscated lands. Anyhoo, sorry for interrupting.