Law School Discussion

What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?

    Here's a link to the decision,   

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     I'm not finished reading the decision, nor do I feel adequately educated to intelligently discuss it (that's what law school's for right?) but I'll post what I think in a few days anyway because I'm very upset by it and would like to know what you guys think about it.


Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2005, 06:32:17 PM »
i really hope this post was flame

Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2005, 07:29:06 PM »
It is a simple case of the greater good winning out.  Legally, I cannot give an opinion, but looking briefly at the subject matter I can understand.  I grew up just 20 minutes from New London, CT and it is a real armpit.  As long as displaced citizens are fairly compensated, then they can move a any location nearby while the city revitilizes the community.
Chris Hoover

Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2005, 07:37:01 PM »
   Forgive my newness to posting on any kind of discussion board, but what is "flame"?  I'm assuming it's a statement meant to piss people off and get them to start talking or something of that nature.  Enlighten me please.

Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2005, 09:04:39 PM »
   Chris, are you an incoming law student at UALR?  If so nice to meet you and I'm sure I'll see you in the fall. 
    I'm going to post a lot more about this in the next few days after I read the decision again and think about it but thought I'd start off with a few questions to get this discussion started;

    1.  Does anyone see this as a personal liberties issue, as in part of the fifth amendment is essentially being wiped out? When should a justice rely on how they see precedent vs. what they determine is an essential and fundamental right that is explicitly stated in the constitution (See Thomas's discussion of the word "use" and O'Connor's point about taking every word in the Constitution as is literally)?
    2. What do you guys think about what Justice Thomas said using public nusiance law instead eminent domain in regards to "blighted" properties?
    3.  Looking at my questions, I realize I'm not really asking anything that's obviously not extremely loaded or biased so I guess I should just ask, Who's pissed about this like I am?  Who thinks it's ok?  Who's concerned that the media has barely touched this?
     Like I said I'm going to reread the opinions and I hope others post in the next few days so we can all see what others think about this.

Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2005, 02:43:19 PM »
Flame?  not sure what that meant either.  Theye might want to clarify their remark since it doesn't seem that he meant it in a positive aspect.

Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2005, 12:36:18 PM »
Well, hello fellow Law students.

Kelo is a case I've been following for some time.  I'm on the City Council in Conway so the protection of municiple powers is important to me.

This is a real heart-strings case.  The folks that own homes in the area the city wishes to redevelope have every right to be upset.  These homes are their property first off, and second off, a home is a very intimate and personal thing.  Anything that infringes upon its sactity is hugely distrubing. 

The fact of the matter is though, the local elected officials of New London didn't make this decision lightly.  The goal is to bring economic devleopment to their depressed city.  I guarentte you there is not a city official out there willing to take eminate domain lightly.  These decisions almost always occure after much thought and consternation, public discussion and ultiamatly much nose-holding.  The court didn't expand the power of eminate domain.  It simply reaffirmed 50 years of precedent.  The courts have consistantly held that "Public Use" is not confined to Infrastructure.  Economic Development is ofted used as justification for Private ventures like shopping malls, manufacturing, or higher/better uses (i.e. more tax revenue.) 
You guys are free to disagree with me.  As the saying goes, Where you sit is where you stand.

Adam Weeks

Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2005, 10:46:50 PM »
     Hey guys, nice to see people are hitting up this board!  Here's what I posted either last night or the night before on the pre law discussion board which so far has racked up about sixty something posts,,36344.0.html

    This is my reaction to some of what I thought were superfluous and sometimes hateful arguments.  Some were real good and got me to think.  Swear I'll read that decision again in the next few days (wink) and hopefully write something more balanced and tethered to this discussion.  In the meantime I'll flame it up (am I using that correctly ?) so some of you guys will put in your two cents!

--These arguments are fun and I do appreciate them having spent undergrad sloughing through Philosophy classes having to read Wittgenstein and translated Chinese religious texts I think we should bring it back to home.
   1. 99& of us are not lawyers or aspiring law students
   2.  We grow up with an understanding that the Constitution protects our basic rights as citizens
   3.  We now no longer have the right to own land without fear of a zealous entrepreneur or corporation with money and political connections being able to obtain our land, period.
   I don't know where the rest of you are from but here in the South where I live not a week goes by where you don't read or hear about collusion of the wealthy to do things most ordinary people disagree with or blatant corruption in the government (run a google search on the "Tennessee Waltz" scandal for fun).  People have always found ways to #@!* people, always will.  Dog and pony shows and abstract arguments aside, getting screwed in the ass is still getting screwed in the ass. As we no longer have direct constitutional protection of or basic rights to own land without a legitimate reason for the public good anyone with enough creativity, money, power, and patience can get what they want. 
    What do you guys think the long term implications of this are?  What rights will we lose next but not really care about because the economy's making us not REALLY worry about our upcoming Stafford and private loans?  I know what I sound like when I say this but I have to say it anyway, Picture a time when the economy is sh*t and the only piece of equity you have left is your house which can be taken by an individual or class of individuals who have both more political and monetary capital than you.  Being as how no one can accurately predict the future, we should all think of what the REAL implications of this decision is, not now but in the future.

Re: What do my fellow soon to be 1L's think of Kelo vs. New London?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2005, 12:50:31 AM »
    Looking at the opinion again I understand that I'm not educated enough to present any kind of intelligent legal argument without sounding like a blowhard so I'm going to switch the platform.
   Adam,  I see what you're saying and would agree if I thought that governments were ABSOLUTELY incorruptible, trustworthy institutions.  However, it is my own personnel belief that all organizations can become corrupt and are imperfect (which is why I am also against the death penalty).  On top of that like that famous theory of beaucracy, I agree that all types of institutionalized organizations are inherently self-interested in their own existence and thus not neccessarily always out for the concerns or good of others. 
     Meaning that I think once you take away the right of someone to have their property protected from being taken by the government, from a private property owner to be used by someone else for a non-public profit bearing purpose, it is inevitable that this power will be abused at some point.  To what degree will remain to be seen.  Something else that remains to be seen is how state governments will react to this by drafting new legislation, secondly, over time it remains to be seen how governments (check this out about Arkansas-- --) that don't have legislation in place to restrict eminent domain to the prior understanding of it utilize their now much clearly defined power.
    One question though.  If the court didn't expand the powers of emminent domain and what they did was cleary based on fifty years of precedent, then why was the case chosen to be heard by the Supreme Court and why was there such a split decision?  It would seem to be that if nothing's changed much from the outcome of this decision, of which both O'Connor and Thomas think effectively nullifies part of the fifth amendment, then the court wouldn't have chosen the case to be heard in the first place.  Or better put, what would have changed if the decision would have been 5-4 the other way around? 
     The last question is rhetorical, but the previous ones, as is always hard to convey when communicating in print, are not meant to be sarcastic but inquisitive.  Let me know what you guys think and thanks Adam and Chris for putting yourselves out there.