SUPREME COURT EMINENT DOMAIN DECISION WAS SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD ON
FROM THE VIRGINIA NEWS SOURCE:
VIRGINIA BEACH (July 9, 2005) - - "Kelo," Joe Waldo told a standing
room only crowd at the Old
Country BuffetSaturday "was
the shot heard around the world on property rights."
Democrats, Republicans, and politically unaffiliated citizens packed the Old
Country Buffet Saturday to hear Libertarian philosophy that property belongs to the people, not the government.
This view was reinforced by lawyers Gary Amos, an expert & historian in
Constitutional law, Waldo, one of Virginia's leading anti-eminent domain
litigators, and Steven Merrill, UNALIENABLE RIGHTS FOUNDATION general counsel, whose brief to overthrow
the eminent domain law in a recent Supreme Court case was cited by Supreme Court
Justice Clarence Thomas in his dissent.
The Supreme Court, in what Merrill called the worst decision since the 1859
Dred Scott case which resulted in the Civil War, recently ruled by the narrowest
majority, in Kelo vs. New London, that government can take private property to
give to other private owners who'll use the land to pay higher taxes.
Amos explained that the very meaning of 'eminent domain' is that "the
government owns your property." This concept "is wrong based on (this
country's) founding principles."
The trio said that the ruling has created the most outrage seen in recent
history, not just from citizens, but from politicians reacting to the people,
against the concept that government owns all property and can take it at will to
re-distribute as it sees fit.
"These 5 justices (ruling in the majority) made a terrible, terrible
decision," said Merrill whose friend of the court brief asked the justices
to overthrow the original 1950s ruling that allowed such abuse of government
Amos explained that 'eminent domain' actually means that all land is owned by
the 'emperor' or government - a concept that ruled in Roman days when the
emperor even owned citizens to the extent they were forced to die fighting each
other and wild animals for the entertainment of the emperor.
That concept, Amos added, was rejected by America's founding fathers in the
drafting of the Constitution. It is a Constitutional protection that is now
perverted by judicial activism.
Waldo said the ruling is a blessing in disguise: Now the whole nation
sees the dangers of big government that the Libertarians have seen and known for
According to a dissenting opinion by Justice Sandra O'Connor, the court in
the ruling said, it is OK for government to take private property for the
private use of others because the only people who'll suffer are the people who
aren't politically connected, Waldo told the gathering.
Because of that, Waldo said, everyone had better look over their shoulders to
see if "your home or business is in an area that makes it more valuable to
the government than it is to you."
Shortly after the ruling, the media in interviewing municipal lawyers were
told by Portsmouth's lawyer 'not to worry' because it isn't going to happen in
But it has already happened: Private property was taken from the owners to
build Portsmouth's Renaissance Hotel. "You can't trust government,"
said one attendee. "Look at what happened when they told that to the