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The Lost Liberty Hotel

QuickPoint!

Government action often has unintended negative consequences. Of course, these consequences are generally forced upon powerless citizens, who are far removed from the eyesight of lofty judges and politicians. However, sometimes these consequences come back to haunt the very officials who created them. We may witness just such a scenario in the aftermath of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. New London, which cleared the way for private developers to seize your home.

Supreme Court Justice David Souter may soon regret siding with the majority in this tragic case, now that a California businessman has decided to submit a bid to seize Souter’s home in Weare, New Hampshire. If successful, Souter’s rustic farmhouse will be bulldozed to make way for a private development, aptly named The Lost Liberty Hotel. The hotel will include a “Just Desserts Café” and “a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America.”

While two wrongs don’t make a right, this counterattack might at least persuade Souter to reread the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says in part, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Notice: it never suggests that private property can be seized for another individual’s private use. Souter better read it closely, because he might just have to defend his property rights in court!

Richard Page is a research associate at Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland, Oregon based think tank.

© 2006, Cascade Policy Institute. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the author and Cascade Policy Institute are cited. Contact Cascade at (503) 242-0900 to arrange print or broadcast interviews on this topic. For more topics visit the QuickPoint! archive.

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