Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Honest Appraisal of Stevens

RealClearPolitics - Good Riddance!

The right to own property is 2nd only to the right to bear arms on the list of critical freedoms. Kelo essentially revoked it. Sowell recognizes with great clarity that our founding fathers knew that it was the government "Leviathan" that the individual needs constitutional protection from. Stevens and the left seek to remove the rights of the individual and transfer them to the government.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the Supreme Court opinion that expanded the Constitution's authorization of seizing private property for "public use" to seizing private property for a "public purpose." And who would define what a "public purpose" is? Basically, those who were doing the seizing. As Justice Stevens put it, the government authorities' assessment of a proper "public purpose" was entitled to "great respect" by the courts.

Let's go back to square one. Just who was this provision of the Constitution supposed to restrict? Answer: government officials. And to whom would Justice Stevens defer: government officials. Why would those who wrote the Constitution waste good ink putting that protection in there, if not to protect citizens from the very government officials to whom Justice Stevens deferred?

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