Friday, July 08, 2005

Supreme Court decides local governments can take your property


Just imagine, your pastor is enjoying his morning coffee as he sits in his office. Just then he hears a rumble. It gets louder. He runs out to see a big bulldozer ready to level the church. The pastor pleads, “Mr. Bulldozer-man, that’s my church!” B-man yells back, “Just following orders man. Talk to Big Brother. In the meantime, get out of my way. I’ve got some work to do.”

This made-up story may sound crazy, but it’s closer to reality than you might think. That’s because of a new ruling handed down last week after a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the case known as Kelo v. New London, under the government’s power of eminent domain, local politicians have now been given clear and distinct power to seize private property if they feel the land would better serve the community through an expansion of economic development. Unfortunately, besides citizens losing property rights, according to many, this ruling makes these local politicians even more susceptible to coercion and bribes from big business.

Citizenlink writes:
“If you think this is an exaggeration, consider what Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in her dissent against the majority’s opinion. Justice O’Connor wrote, “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party.”

“Churches located in prime areas should be especially
concerned about the long-term implications of this ruling because they are tax-exempt, meaning they render little benefit to government revenues compared with businesses or residential developments. Not only could local governments justify taking church property in order to bring new jobs into the community and to increase tax revenues, they may now be able to justify preventing churches from buying property in areas that would otherwise be prime residential or business property.”
For an example of such abuse of power, click here, scroll down to the bottom, and watch a gripping story out of San Diego called, “Grand Theft Building.”

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