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There’s always something to howl about

Connecticut State Supreme Court Justice: “I would have decided the Kelo case differently, but I had my head up my ass.”

Alas, the judge wasn’t that honest. But he actually apologized for being instrumental in stealing the homestead of an innocent family under the color of law. The next time you look at your paycheck stub, just think: Sooner or later, some well-heeled gonoph in a Brooks Brothers just might apologize to you for ripping you off week after week. Won’t that be nice?

Related posts:
  • Elections Really DO Have Consequences
  • Richard Epstein on zoning, Kelo and the “takings” clause
  • Some black real estate humor for Friday: We have to destroy the village to save it? No, save it first, then destroy it.

  • 14 comments

    14 Comments so far

    1. Robert Worthington September 19th, 2011 4:58 pm

      Greg, I don’t know why some people don’t have a spine! Maybe a politician could better explain.

    2. Teyona September 20th, 2011 2:35 am

      Awefully bad people! Let’s just be wiser than usual.

    3. Tim Riggins September 21st, 2011 10:04 am

      When dealing with in people in business it’s best to be cautious and don’t everything said for face value.

    4. Teri Lussier September 21st, 2011 7:21 pm

      >”Had I known all of what you just told us, I would have voted differently.”

      I clicked over to the original article.

      > Justice Palmer sent me a “personal and confidential” letter dated Nov. 8, 2010. In it he didn’t dispute my account. Nor did he ask me not to publish. Rather, he provided some important context.

      > “Those comments,” he wrote, “were predicated on certain facts that we did not know (and could not have known) at the time of our decision and of which I was not fully aware until your talk — namely, that the city’s development plan had never materialized and, as a result, years later, the land at issue remains barren and wholly undeveloped.” He later added that he could not know of those facts “because they were not yet in existence.”

      Is he saying had land been developed it would have been okay? It’s only not okay because the lot is used as neighborhood yard waste dump? That’s not an apology for the decision, it’s an apology that the land wasn’t used as intended when the decision was made. Still sucks rocks…

    5. Teri Lussier September 21st, 2011 7:26 pm

      Oh, sorry. I see now there is a page 2 which answers my questions:

      > Q: Looking back at the Kelo decision (by the Connecticut Supreme Court), how do you see it now? In other words, has it led to good law?

      > A: I think that our court ultimately made the right decision insofar as it followed governing U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Whether the Kelo case has led to good statutory law is not a question for me or my court; so long as that law is constitutional, its merits are beyond the scope of our authority. Of course, judges are also citizens and, therefore, we may hold a view on the merits, but that view should not interfere with or affect our legal judgment concerning the law’s constitutionality.

      > Some journalists may cringe at the idea of giving the subject of a story editorial input. But as an author I do it often. I find it improves accuracy. Consider that when I showed this piece to Justice Palmer, he e-mailed me a clarification on his apology to Susette. “I do recall telling Susette I was sorry,” he wrote. “But I was expressing my regret for what she had gone through. I would not want the reader to think that I was apologizing for my vote, which I was not doing.”

    6. Greg Swann September 21st, 2011 9:42 pm

      I always wonder if anyone pursues the links.

      What conclusion do you draw?

    7. Teri Lussier September 22nd, 2011 5:38 am

      > I always wonder if anyone pursues the links.

      Depends entirely.

      > I think that our court ultimately made the right decision insofar as it followed governing U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Whether the Kelo case has led to good statutory law is not a question for me or my court; so long as that law is constitutional, its merits are beyond the scope of our authority.

      This is obvious to me, but it is still chilling to see it in print, all spelled out. The govt can take your property, I know that. And they took this land for a very specific purpose, money was spent to get this through the courts, the govt then has no obligation to follow through on their intent? Not the point, but still. Perhaps this case has stigmatized this land to some extent, again not the point. Maybe the most perplexing for me- that which is seen cannot be unseen. I can’t unlearn this. I can’t pretend not to know. So for me the only thing left is how do I act on what I now know? I will be learning more about this case, definitely.

    8. Jim Klein September 22nd, 2011 7:24 am

      “…we may hold a view on the merits, but that view should not interfere with or affect our legal judgment concerning the law’s constitutionality.”

      Damn, that makes me sick. For two centuries, this mess has been molded by the Supreme Court doing precisely the opposite of what this declares.

      Not that it really matters, I suppose, since the Constitution was designed for exactly this to happen anyway:

      http://zerogov.com/?p=2293

    9. Teri Lussier September 22nd, 2011 7:41 am

      Legislating from the bench isn’t their job, so in that respect, I think the court did precisely what they were asked to do. But then:

      > For two centuries, this mess has been molded by the Supreme Court doing precisely the opposite of what this declares.

      Yes. And then:

      >Not that it really matters, I suppose, since the Constitution was designed for exactly this to happen anyway:

      Exactly! So… What now? Where do you move from here? And do it positively? Where is the sunny side of the that street? That’s what I’m looking for, anyway.

    10. Jim Klein September 22nd, 2011 1:59 pm

      Gee, I was sort of hoping you’d figure all that out, Teri! The madness is at its peak–at least the thinking part of the madness–and production has finally been stifled to its lowest limits. Maybe it’s a good thing that the markets finally recognize this, but I can’t find the least reason to suspect that the looters won’t do the only thing they know how to do, and loot. That spells major trouble and lots of bloodshed IMO.

      For myself, I agree with you completely. I can’t even think of anything to do except try to build, and do it in a positive way. I’d like to think this would have some effect on others, but I sure wouldn’t bet on it. But then I remember, that was never the purpose in the first place. That’s the debt I owe to Greg, that he made it “stone obvious” why this is so.

    11. Teri Lussier September 24th, 2011 7:00 am

      >Gee, I was sort of hoping you’d figure all that out, Teri!

      Grrr. You’ve been talking about this out loud a lot longer than I have, Jim! I was hoping you had it all worked out so I could just follow the GPS you’d left: Turn right for 358 days, then make a sharp left. Go straight for 7.4 months then veer right. Continue for a fortnight- like that. So I guess what you are saying is that I should do what makes me happy, and hope to hell everyone else is doing the same? Actually, I’m pretty good at that. :-)

    12. Jim Klein September 24th, 2011 3:28 pm

      > So I guess what you are saying is that I should do what makes me happy, and hope to hell everyone else is doing the same?

      Sounds about right. All that leaves is persuading them that acting like assholes doesn’t really make them happy.

    13. Michael Cook September 30th, 2011 1:14 pm

      As someone familiar with development, this doesnt make sense. Putting aside the constitutional issues, of which there are many, the risk to development and the “job creation” is staggering. To take someone’s land on speculation of job creation and other “public” goods should not be ok or legal.

      Its never black and white, but with so much risk on the downside, the compensation those people receive should have been very high. In addition to new housing, they should have gotten a % of the new development profits and a guaranty that their land would be restored if the project failed to move forward. This is bad business all around.

    14. Jim Klein October 7th, 2011 2:06 pm

      I’m just seeing your comment, Michael, and I don’t understand it at all. I don’t see what relevance risk has on the matter whatsoever. If a thief can do better work with someone’s money than the owner can, does that somehow justify thievery? Would it be any better if he offered to return dividends from the good work he’ll do?

      Is there some breakdown in the analogy that I’m not seeing?