Monday, March 13, 2006

City to seize church by eminent domain

That is the title of this WND story. It begins:
The city of Long Beach, Calif., is using the power of eminent domain bolstered by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling to condemn a Baptist congregation's church building.

The city wants to remove the Filipino Baptist Fellowship's building to make way for condominiums, the Baptist Press reported.
I thought Kelo was wrongly decided at the time. It is certainly un-American even if the 5 Justices in the majority are correct that it is constitutional. It is worth noting that one of the 5 (and one of the 4 in the minority) have retired and been replaced. I suspect that both new Justices would have been on the other side on this issue. I further suspect that even some of the remaining 4 who voted in favor have seen the destruction that this has allowed and the citizen outrage it has created.

Let us hope that John Eastman, attorney for the church, is correct in the following:
"In my view, the Supreme Court made a terrible mistake in Kelo, and I think they know that and they're going to be looking for a way to extricate [themselves] from that case," he said.

A church case, he continued, is the best challenge to the principle of that case, "where there is no economic output, so any economic development could then be utilized to take out the church under the Kelo theory."
I suspect the courts will rule in favor of the church. My question is how. The Robert's court could take Kelo on directly and admit that the earlier ruling was a mistake. It could, however, sidestep the issue and claim that the seizure is unconstitutional simply because it is a violation of the free exercise clause, which would help the church but not the thousands of taxpayers around the country being unreasonably attacked by their local governments. It would also leave a terrible precedent on the books.


Post a Comment

<< Home