Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Fri, July 03

Does City Hall have a right to own your home

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America says private property shall not be taken for public purposes without just compensation.

See, our Founding Fathers had had quite enough of The King's Royal Minions taking people's homes and dooryards for themselves, with only token payment.

On the other hand, they also knew that to build roads and other public facilities, it was sometimes absolutely necessary to buy out unwilling sellers.

Five of our nine beloved Justices have decided (Kelo v New London) that a municipality can take your home and give it to a private business. If a city could collect more taxes by "developing" a residential neighborhood, that supposedly makes it a "public purpose."

Scenario A: Old Grandfather McWilliams is bodily dragged out of his home and forced to watch as it is burned to the ground. Then he is given about enough money to buy a mobile home on a mobile home lot somewhere else. City Hall builds a nice bowling alley on his property.

Scenario B: Mother Smith (with three little children) is handed a check that just might make the down payment on a one-bedroom house on the edge of town, and told she has 90 days to vacate the house her parents willed to her. City Hall puts a row of really cute boutiques there.

Scenario C: George Garcia stands on his front porch with a shotgun in his hands, defying the men on the bulldozers. Then, at last, unwilling to take their lives, but with no place to go, he puts the muzzle under his chin and blows his brains out right in front of them. City Hall puts in a first-class jewelry store there.

We can read that line in the Fifth Amendment in about two seconds. The Five Learned Justices must have seen it sometime or other. How did they miss (1) the part about "public purposes," and (2) the part about "just compensation?"

"Public Purposes" means something needed for proper operation of government -- mostly it means roads, but it could be a City Hall, a jail, a courthouse or even its a parking lot.

"Just Compensation" means what the property would sell for under ordinary circumstances. This has been defined as the price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept, with neither being under compulsion or pressure.

Let Congress consider whether to impeach those five Supreme Court "Justices".

Glenn Jacobs

Eagar, Ariz.

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