Monday, August 15, 2005

Backlash Backlash

Good piece in the LA Times by my friend Matt Welch on the reaction to Kelo. (Much better piece than what I'm about to write--in fact, just read his thing and forget mine.) What's been most fascinating to me is the general opposition. For decades, the courts have been treating Constitutional property rights as a delusion. Finally, a case comes down where the government overreaches and the public is disgusted. I've had three very left friends tell me that this decision makes them realize it's too easy for the government to kick around (and kick out) the little guy. (They didn't talk much about property rights when they thought they served the rich.)

Will the backlash make any difference? I dont know if the courts will change--too many variables. (Roberts couldn't be more anti-Kelo than O'Connor--no one could.) In the short run, laws will be passed limiting eminent domain, but they can be changed back (or ignored) if the government wants it badly enough. The big question is where will the Democrats stand? As Matt points out, while the rank and file may not like the decision, most establishment Dems pretty much have to back it. (Though they don't have to go as far as the bird-brained reaction of Nancy Pelosi.) After all, they must be saying to themselves, we're the party of central planning and big government--stronger property rights will greatly hamper us. As long as the Dems (and many Repubs) are sure they can spend your money better than you, it's hard to imagine there'll be any big change.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Kira Zalan said...

I thought I saw Alice the other day! Or maybe it was Justice Souter –skipping in Wonderland, immune to and above the laws he passes.

9:24 AM, August 15, 2005  
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