June 29, 2005

Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? "A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land."

Following the original MoFi thread here.

  • Oh, goody, goody!
  • Hot damn! Where can I make my reservations?
  • why the heck didn't he recuse himself?
  • Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans. ah. never mind.
  • This is why I love Google Maps. Satellite shot is a bit blurry, though.
  • The irony is just delicious.
  • That's not irony. That's just lame. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." *cringe*
  • This reminds me of something that someone asked me a couple of years ago. They asked, sincerely and with deep puzzlement, "Why in the world would you want to protect rights that you don't intend to exercise or, indeed, could possibly ever exercise?" I suspect that Souter decided the case on its merits, not whether it was in his personal interest or not in his personal interest. It doesn't surprise me that a Randroid would think that using the law against Souter's personal interest would be a convincing rebuttal. It's not. It's juvenile.
  • Juvenile? This big business! Hotels and tax dollars, yeehaw!
  • we are aware that this is not a serious request but a political commentary, right?
  • It's kind of a silly exercise in futility, but the nuisance factor alone might prove a point.
  • I thought so too SideDish, but from the articles I've read it sounds like he wants to go through with it if approved. I dunno.
  • the so-called "developer" has an interesting history... here's his bio from his run for california governor: D. Logan Darrow Clements, Republican Occupation: Businessman and creator of FreeNation, a half-hour weekly TV show that follows brave individuals risking their freedom to confront abusive governments around the world. His platform: He would privatize all public schools and colleges, cut taxes and get rid of those pesky government regulations. Quote: "Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand predicted California's problems almost 50 years ago." also the AP is covering... June 29, 2005, Wednesday, BC cycle 10:18 AM Eastern Time HEADLINE: Proposal: Replace Souter's home with 'Lost Liberty Hotel' DATELINE: WEARE, N.H. BODY: Following a Supreme Court ruling last week that gave local governments power to seize private property, someone has suggested taking over Justice David Souter's New Hampshire farmhouse and turning it into a hotel. "The justification for such an eminent domain action is that our hotel will better serve the public interest as it will bring in economic development and higher tax revenue to Weare," Logan Darrow Clements of California wrote in a letter faxed to town officials in Weare on Tuesday. Souter, a longtime Weare resident, joined in the 5-4 court decision allowing governments to seize private property from one owner and turn it over to another if doing so would benefit a community. The letter dubbing the project the "Lost Liberty Hotel" was posted on conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh's Web site. Clements said it would include a dining room called the "Just Desserts Cafe" an a museum focused on the "loss of freedom in America." A message seeking comment from Souter was left at his office Wednesday morning. The court has recessed and Souter was still in Washington, one of his secretaries said. A few police cruisers were parked on the edge of Souter's property Tuesday. "It was a precaution, just being protective," said Lt. Mark Bodanza. Clements is the CEO of Los Angeles-based Freestar Media that fights "abusive" government through a Web site and cable show. He plans to move to New Hampshire soon as part of the Free State Project, a group that supports limiting government powers, the Monitor reported. The letter was passed along to the board of selectmen. If the five-member board were to endorse the hotel project, zoning laws would have to be changed and the hotel would have to get approval from the planning board. Messages seeking comment were left with Laura Buono, board chairwoman. "Am I taking this seriously? But of course," said Charles Meany, Weare's code enforcement officer. "In lieu of the recent Supreme Court decision, I would imagine that some people are pretty much upset. If it is their right to pursue this type of end, then by all means let the process begin." Souter's two-story colonial farmhouse is assessed at a little more than $100,000 and brought in $2,895 in property taxes last year. The Supreme Court case involved the city of New London, Conn. The justices ruled that City Hall may take over property through eminent domain to make way for a hotel and convention center. In his majority opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens said New London could pursue private development under the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property if the land is for public use. He said the project the city has in mind promises to bring more jobs and revenue. At least eight states - Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, South Carolina and Washington - forbid the use of eminent domain for economic development unless it is to eliminate blight. Other states either expressly allow private property to be taken for private economic purposes or have not spoken clearly to the question.
  • Ironically, the decision supports federalism, ie leaving local decisions to the state/local governments instead of the big federal gov't forcing decisions on them. This is exactly what anti-big-government people want. If the randroids don't like governments to take their land, they should elect local officials that won't take their land. Of course, the typical randroid doesn't have the dozen or so fucking brains cells it would take to figure all this out.
  • I assume that the zoning authorities would require Clements to prove he has the development money up front, and to present a comprehensive business plan. Otherwise, they should consider him a crackpot.
  • The irony won't be complete until they get cancer, then sued for listening to the radio.
  • A sewage treatment plant would be more appropriate. Let's get creative here, folks!
  • I think Souter and his ilk deserve this. Hell, I would even be willing to sign on as a 'stockholder'. So who's with me? Condemn the houses of all the Supreme Court justices for. . . amusement parks?
  • That's a pretty good impression of a batshit crazy wingnut you do mk1. Why don't you go stand over there with tom delay and make vague threats about attacking the justices. The supreme court made the correct decision by leaving it to the state and local governments. Different areas have different concerns and uses for land (ie urban vs rural areas), and so the use of eminent domain should be regulated by a local body. If you disagree with government taking privately owned land to give to businesses (I know I certainly do) then your beef is with New London officials, not the court. Read sidedish's last graf and get your state or local gov't to pass a law like that.
  • I apologize for the suggestion in the final sentence of my last comment. Being politically active is way too much work to expect anyone to do- especially when it's so much easier to just bitch and whine.
  • /snark
  • /snark I didn't close the tag because I still had a few more threads to hit before I was finished.
  • The supreme court made the correct decision by leaving it to the state and local governments. /opinion