Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Eminent Domain

Trump’s “Great, Great Wall” to be Big and Scary

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 20, 2017:

United States Customs and Border Protection of...

United States Customs and Border Protection officers, fully armed and armored for a counter-terrorism operation.

In his address to Congress earlier this month, President Donald Trump said, “We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border” to “restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders.” Now that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has begun issuing RFPs — requests for proposals — the wall is also going to be big and scary: “The wall design shall be physically imposing in height,” according to CBP officials.

It will be at least 18 feet in height, but CBP’s “nominal” goal is more like 30 feet above ground, and another six feet below ground (to discourage tunneling underneath it). It’s also going to be thick, as one of the requirements is that it must take someone at least an hour — and ideally more than four hours — to bore a hole in it large enough to allow him to crawl through it. That, theoretically at least, would allow enough time for border agents to respond to the attempted breach.

Its RFPs will entertain alternatives to the concrete wall many have already envisioned, responding to border agents’ suggestions that it have a “see-through” component,

Keep Reading…

Donald Trump Meets Ayn Rand

The Passion of Ayn Rand

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 30, 2016:  

Ayn Rand passed away in 1982 at age 77 when Donald Trump was just 36. But the astounding success of her masterwork, Atlas Shrugged, led to an interview at the Trump Tower on Monday in the form of one of her most avid fans: John Allison.

Allison, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina in 1971, read a copy of it as a young man and it changed his life. There’s an outside possibility that it might change the life of millions of others.

Following graduation he went to work for BB&T Corporation, a small rural bank in North Carolina. By 1989 Allison was the bank’s CEO. By 2010 he had grown the bank from $4.5 billion in assets to

Keep Reading…

Trump Meets With Former Banker Who Wants to End the Fed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 29, 2016: 

John Allison BB&T

John Allison

Donald Trump met with former banker John Allison on Monday in a meeting that was largely ignored by the mainstream media. It remains unclear whether Allison was being interviewed for the job of secretary of the Treasury or was just giving Trump some advice from a free market perspective.

Either way, it’s a breath of fresh air in an era where statism and excessive hubris (the idea that mere politicians and economists can guide, even stimulate a $20-trillion-dollar economy with monetary policy) has reigned for decades.

Right after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina in 1971,

Keep Reading…

Trump, the Constitutionalist?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 17, 2016:  

StudioEIS National Constitution Center

National Constitution Center

Missing from Donald Trump’s many public pronouncements and offerings is any clear understanding of the limitations, restrictions and “chains” of restraint placed on the federal government by the republic’s founders. In his business life he is certainly acquainted with at least one part of the Fifth Amendment: “no person’s private property [shall] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” He used that to wrest a private home from its owner simply because it was in the way of the parking lot of one of his casinos.

As for the other part, equally obscure but increasingly threatened by a government no longer bound by those chains, Trump may be ignorant:

Keep Reading…

Following Saturday Night’s “Thermonuclear” Debate, Trump Remains Unscathed

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 15, 2016:

Charles Krauthammer said he’d never seen anything like it:

If the previous Republican debates have been World War I or II, this is thermonuclear. I have not seen as many personal attacks or high temperature attacks as we saw in this debate….

 

We went here from WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment] to UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship, or cage fighting].

 

This was a cage fight of the sort that I don’t think we have seen at the presidential level before.

Other observers were only slightly kinder. Caleb Howe, writing for RedState, said

Keep Reading…

GOP Debate: Did We Learn Much Amidst the Acrimony?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, February 14, 2016:  

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the f...

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the fight for health insurance reform to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a moment of silence before the start of Saturday night’s GOP debate in remembrance of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away on Saturday morning.

Once the debate started, however, not just silence but 

Keep Reading…

Tracking Freedom’s Decline in America

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 17, 2015:  

Fraser Institute

A recent spate of reports, analyses, and indexes continue to confirm the decline of personal and economic freedom in the United States. The Fifth Annual report from the Fraser Institute, “The Human Freedom Index” published last month shows the U.S. falling from 17th place worldwide to 20th in the areas of personal, civil, and economic freedom.

Ian Vasquez, one of the report’s authors, wrote:

Keep Reading…

Eminent Domain in Connecticut: Homeowners Fight to Keep Homes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 17, 2015: 

Cover of "Little Pink House: A True Story...

Ten years ago, and 50 miles west of West Haven, Connecticut, the owner of a little pink house refused to give up her home to the claims of eminent domain, and her lawsuit went all the way to the Supreme Court: [Susette] Kelo v. City of New London. She lost her case.

Now, if Janet Rodriguez doesn’t come to terms with the city or the developers who want to put up a huge mall where she lives in West Haven, Connecticut, the Supreme Court just might have another chance to change its mind, and its ruling, in the Kelo case.

Janet didn’t even know her home was in the way of the proposed development until

Keep Reading…

Suzette Kelo, Vera Coking and Donald Trump

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 28, 2015:  

It’s likely that neither Suzette Kelo nor Vera Coking ever met Donald Trump, but they certainly know how he operates. Eminent domain, under the Fifth Amendment, says that “no person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” Suzette lost her property, and Vera nearly did, by developers seizing on that malleable and flexible language and turning it into a tool of thuggery, using government agents instead of bandits, to forcibly remove owners from their privately owned homes and land.

A developer in New London, Connecticut, used a government-created entity to declare that Kelo’s property was condemned in favor of a

Keep Reading…

Trump’s Use of Eminent Domain to Take What He Wants

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 27, 2015:  

With Donald Trump’s political star now ascendant, his past is being more carefully examined for clues to potential future behavior if he is elected president in 2016. That examination is turning up a seedy side of Trump’s success in building his empire: his determined, deliberate, and continued use of the Fifth Amendment’s eminent domain clause, along with the help of local authorities, to steal private property at substantial discounts for his own use.

The relevant language from the amendment is clear, or should be:

Keep Reading…

Tracking America’s Decline

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 30th, 2013:

For years, both the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have published studies purporting to measure just how much freedom countries around the world enjoy, based on a number of indices. Heritage tracks how closely countries hew to the rule of law, how they apply principles of limited government, how onerous the regulatory state is, and how extensively open and free markets are embraced.

Cato, on the other hand, looks at how much personal choice each country’s citizens enjoy, how free they are to engage in voluntary exchange, and how secure their rights in private property are.

Both have recently published their results for 2013, based on the latest available data. The news isn’t good. In some cases, it is

Keep Reading…

Defending the First Amendment

George Will – Bureaucrats declare war on free advice

Rather than eat a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, [Steve Cooksey] adopted what he and other enthusiasts call a Paleolithic diet, eating as primitive humans did — e.g., beef, pork, chicken, leafy green vegetables.

Cooksey lost 75 pounds and the need for drugs and insulin. And, being a modern Paleo, he became a blogger, communicating his dietary opinions.

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, no! He expressed his opinions! Mercy me! How outrageous is that? Where does he think he lives? In America? Where one cannot express his opinions without being oppressed?

According to Will that’s exactly what happened:

When a busybody notified North Carolina’s Board of Dietetics/Nutrition that Cooksey was opining about which foods were and were not beneficial, the board launched a three-month investigation of his Internet writings and his dialogues with people who read and responded to them.

The board sent him copies of his writings, with red pen markings of such disapproved postings as: “I do suggest that your friend eat as I do and exercise the best they can.”

“If,” the board sternly said, “people are writing you with diabetic-specific questions and you are responding, you are no longer just providing information — you are counseling — you need a license to provide this service.” (my emphases added)

What Cooksey did was enlist the help of a pro-bono, pro-First Amendment law firm, the Institute for Justice (IJ), which loves cases like these. Their most prominent one, Kelo v. City of New London went all the way to the Supreme Court, which decision continues to favorably impact eminent domain laws today.

Will discusses the principles involved – you can imagine for yourself what they are – and then asks rhetorically:

Did Ann Landers and Dear Abby conduct 50-year crime sprees by offering unlicensed psychological advice?

What basic Constitutional principles are in play here, in your opinion? I’d love to hear back from you.

Supreme Court Just Might Upset Rent Controls in New York City

Central Park

When R.S. Radford, a principal attorney for the public interest law firm Pacific Legal Foundation, learned about the ruling against a property owner suffering under New York City’s rent control laws, he appealed the case to the Supreme Court. At issue in the case, Harmon v. Markus, is whether James and Jeanne Harmon, the owners of a handsome brownstone near Central Park, are entitled to relief from the city’s onerous rent control laws that force them to accept lower-than-market rents from three of their renters.

Harmon filed the original lawsuit against the chair of the Rent Guidelines Board claiming that the rent control laws violated his Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution’s “taking” clause. (“No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”) When he was denied, he appealed, claiming that he had been denied the right of due process under the 14th Amendment. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed it out of hand, and that’s when Pacific Legal jumped in.

Radford explained why his firm was involved: “Jim Harmon and his wife own a building in New York City that has some rent controlled units that are occupied, apparently, by fairly affluent tenants, and he simply can’t use the property the way he would like to.” Harmon indicated that he would eventually like to pass the building on to his children and grandchildren but the regulations limit his rights as a property owner to do so.

The three units in question are renting for about 40 percent of fair market rents and the renters have long since outstayed the terms of

Keep Reading…

Bill of Rights Day: Celebration or Mourning?

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Cato Institute’s newspaper ad reminding citizens that December 15th was Bill of Rights Day summarized the desperate shape those first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States is in, thanks to an overweening government and an uninformed citizenry. Reviewing each of the amendments, Cato pointed  to specific infringements of each of them, concluding that “It’s a disturbing picture, to be sure, but not one the Framers of the Constitution would have found altogether surprising. They would sometimes refer to written constitutions as mere “parchment barriers” [to totalitarian government].

The erection of the original “parchment barrier,” the Bill of Rights, was initially considered unnecessary because the language of the Constitution explicitly enumerated limited powers to the newly created government and why should further protections against powers not even granted be needed? As “Brutus,” one of the authors of the Anti-Federalist Papers, wrote: 

Keep Reading…

Institute for Justice Celebrates 20 Years of “Litigating for Liberty”

Institute for Justice

Economist and conservative commentator Don Boudreaux attended the opening of the Institute for Justice (IJ) on September 10, 1991, and thought to himself at that time that “it sounded like a good idea.” Looking back at what IJ has accomplished since then, Boudreaux says, “IJ’s success over the past two decades is nothing short of phenomenal.”

At the ceremony marking the beginning of IJ, co-founder Clint Bolick spelled out exactly what they intended to do, and recognized the enormous changes in the way of their doing it. IJ is going to be focused, he said, on “removing barriers to opportunity and helping low-income people earn their share of the American Dream.” For instance:

Little Devon Williams, who was able to escape the cesspool of the Milwaukee Public Schools and instead get a good education in an excellent neighborhood private school, thanks to

Keep Reading…

Donald Trump: The Art of Bankruptcy

Donald Trump

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

As ABC’s Amy Bingham pointed out on Thursday, Donald Trump has “built an American empire from Las Vegas to New York,” but has sought bankruptcy four times along the way.

Trump told George Stephanopoulos last Friday, “I’ve used the laws of this country to pare debt…. We’ll have the company [that’s in financial trouble]…we’ll throw it into a chapter [11 bankruptcy]. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal. You know, it’s like on The Apprentice: It’s not personal. It’s just business.”

Keep Reading…

Eminent Domain and the Kelo Echo

Stop Eminent Domain

Image by Angela Radulescu via Flickr

“This is abuse…. It’s [another] case of eminent domain abuse,” said Renee Smith-Ward, owner of Wag’In Tail, a dog-grooming salon in Auburn, New York. As reported by Fox News, the city is threatening to use “eminent domain” to seize her salon and other private property nearby to allow a builder to construct a hotel conference center.

Smith-Ward said, “I don’t believe it’s right to take someone’s property away from them for a hotel, for a private developer.” She said she thought eminent domain was “for power lines, roads, schools, hospitals [but] not for a private developer.” Another property owner, Michael Kazanivsky agreed: “These people just want to come in and steal it from you. They’re trying to take it from me. It’s not right.”

Keep Reading…

Will Obama Nominate Napolitano for the Supreme Court?

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...

Image via Wikipedia

Evidence is mounting that Obama will have another opportunity to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court when Justice Stevens retires next summer.

Justice John Paul Stevens, age 89, raised some eyebrows when he hired just one law clerk to his staff for the current term. Full-time Justices can hire as many as six clerks, and retired Justices usually hire two.

Keep Reading…

Eminent Domain Battles Continue: Fee Simple Is Not So Simple

Eminent Domain Abuse -

Image by Sister72 via Flickr

The Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, New York, has ruled against Columbia University’s plans to use eminent domain to develop a satellite campus in Upper Manhattan.  This reflects one minor skirmish in the battle that has raged nationally ever since Kelo vs. City of New London was decided by the Supreme Court in 2005.

In his “A Summary View of the Rights of British America”, Thomas Jefferson made one last plea to King George to reconsider the path England was taking in its relationship with the American colonies.  With elegance and eloquence, Jefferson laid the moral and political groundwork for life, liberty, and property:

Keep Reading…

Kelo v. New London: All for Naught, or Not?

Logo of Pfizer Incorporated.

Image via Wikipedia

The city of New London, Connecticut, fought for and won at the highest level permission to take private property from one person and give it to another. Now that victorious “person” (i.e., pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc.) is closing its New London facility and moving it to Groton. Was it all for naught?

Some think so.

Keep Reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann