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Friday, June 24, 2005

land grab 2

Unfortunately the Supreme Court made their decision to allow government to continue taking private land in order to resell it to private business. I had known of the court case and was hoping it would have had a different outcome. I was also hoping that the case would not be finalized until I passed my bill, but it did not.

This case was one of the reasons why some legislators wanted to wait and not vote on my bill when it came up in regular session. It seems most would rather let the courts decide. Although the Supreme made their decision, I am pretty sure we can still pass a state law making it difficult for localities to take property, but this road will be much harder now.

Many legislators will probably say something along the lines that the Supreme Court has dealt with this issue and now there is no need or reason to pass a law that they might be against.

But who knows---there may be enough of a public outcry over this decision to cause some legislators to listen to the people, step up to the plate, and try and help pass this bill. Frank Nicely and I have spoken and we plan to push full speed ahead on this bill again next year.

The feedback I have received has been for the most part STRONGLY against the court's decision. Some went so far as to call it a slow slip into socialism, and later communism. I will continue to listen to your input, and will continue working hard to try and stop this slipping.


  1. We elect legislators to insure against these problems and instead they create bigger ones. Just because a few swelled-head judges out of an Ivory Tower league college say it's right doesn't mean we'll abide. Not to long ago a man who proclaimed divine right thought he could tell some hill-billies what to do with their property and his lackies got a musketball in thier hindquarters. With all due respect Stacey, a bill won't get it done this time. When Johnny Tax-man comes for a piece of prime Tennessee farmland so he can build the next Starbuck's in effort to line a local official's pockets only one thing will change his mind, buckshot. I'd remind these land snatchers that Tennesseans stormed the courthouse in Nash-Vegas to prevent a tax-hike, what do you think they're likely to do when you come for their trailer home and the back forty?
    .....Oh and while I'm at it you let ole Jimbo know that he's likely to have a red dot trained on him but it may not come from a laser pointer.

  2. My apologies to you Stacey, it was pointed out to me that my commentary could be construed as a threat to old Naifeh and knowing how fond Jimbo is of you, I'm sure I'll wind up with TBI up my wazoo. So I'm adding this disclaimer: I would not personally advocate the shooting of Jimmy Naifeh. That being said I can't see his burying a bill aimed (no pun intended) at protecting our emergency workers. I knew some people like Jimbo some years ago. To quote them I'll say "I'm taking my ball and going home." I'm quite sure they said it in a more straightfoward fashion.

  3. Rep, you should realize that the Court's decision sets a Constitutional minimum for "public purposes" needed for condemnation of land. A state is free to set the bar higher if it chooses; the new case is no obstacle to your legislation. If you get static from your peers based on the new case, don't be afraid to ask for an opinion from the Legislative Counsel regarding the last few sentences of Justice Souter's opinion.

    The proposed South-of-the-River development here in Knoxville seems to fit exactly in with the development plan that the City of New London had in the recent case. I suspect that if your legislation passes, that would make it harder for the City to use its condemnation power to facilitate the development. (As it should; I'm no fan of the beautiful view of Holston Gases any more than anyone else is, but it's their property and the government, at all levels, should have to respect that fact.)

  4. What goes around comes around.

    I just heard on the radio that someone in New Hampshire has petitioned the Weare gov't there to seize Jusitce Souter's home so they can build a hotel and museum. Justification? Increased tax base and income producer for the gov't.

    This is not a joke.

  5. Rep, I think that the ruling by the Supreme Court only meant that the Constitution did not deal with the use of eminent domain for the purpose that was ruled on. (Using condemnation for the benefit of a business)Therefore , I do believe that states can pass legislation of their own to stop the use of eminent domain for the purpose of condemning land for the purpose of using that land for the benefit of developers to make a profit. As you know,laws can be passed by states for anything that is not forbidden in the Constitution.


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