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July 30, 2005

Justice Breyer's Property an Eniment Domain Target

In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo vs. City of New London, Justice David Souter's house in New Hampshire became a target of a developer who wanted to seize it under eminent domain. Now a group of Libertarians want to seize Justice Stephen Breyer's land. (Hat tip: Free Republic):

Libertarians upset about a Supreme Court ruling on land taking have proposed seizing a justice's vacation home and turning it into a park, echoing efforts aimed at another justice who lives in the state.

Organizers are trying to collect enough signatures to go before the town next spring to ask to use Justice Stephen G. Breyer's 167-acre Plainfield property for a "Constitution Park" with stone monuments to commemorate the U.S. and New Hampshire constitutions.

"In the spirit of the ruling, we're recreating the same use of eminent domain," said John Babiarz, the Libertarian Party's state chairman.

The plot mirrors the party's ongoing effort to get the town of Weare, about 45 miles to the southeast, to seize Justice David Souter's home. Souter's property is also the focus of a proposal by a California man who suggested the town turn the farmhouse into a "Lost Liberty Hotel."

The efforts are meant in protest of the high court's June ruling that let a Connecticut city take land by eminent domain and turn it over to a private developer. Breyer and Souter supported the decision.

If either one or both of these efforts succeed then the Justices will get what they deserve for supporting such a ridiculous decision.

Although Kelo is without a doubt one of the worst rulings ever handed down by the Court, it has also revealed in a way that matters to every single citizen the danger of activist judges. Conservatives have long complained about activistism on the bench but the issues that were involved have never had as wide-ranging an effect that Kelo has had.

Posted by Tom at July 30, 2005 09:48 AM

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First Justice Souter; now Justice Breyer. Seems turnaround is fair play, and appropriately so, when five justices of the United States Supreme Court decide to stretch the concept of eminent domain to include local governments taking private property ... [Read More]

Tracked on July 31, 2005 03:49 PM


A day after the Kelo decision was delivered, Freestar Media LLC submitted a proposal in the town of Weare, New Hampshire where majority opinion writer, Justice Souter, owns a farm house. They requested that the town board condemn the land and give it to them, as private developers, who promise to construct the Lost Liberty Hotel in its place. Their tax revenue would no doubt be higher than the reported $2,500 that Justice Souter paid in property taxes last year. It would create employment and attract tourism. The town has a website, and an economic development committee, which has identified its two main goals: 1) Encourage the formation of new businesses, and 2) Promote tourism. However, contrary to its stated goals and the legally sanctioned purpose of economic development, the town’s board turned down the proposal.

So much for poetic justice. Justice Souter’s influence in his community shielded him from his own ruling. No other rational justification can be found.

Thankfully, the legislative branch is now busy at work attempting to shield private property rights from the Supreme Court ruling. It seems that the two may have switched roles, with the House defending the Constitution, and the Supreme Court writing new laws.

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.

Posted by: Kira Zalan at July 30, 2005 03:35 PM

I believe it was on Neil Boorz's site where I read the best use of David Souter's property- a shooting range!

Posted by: Brian Berger at August 1, 2005 02:56 AM

Seems to me that this hotel should be named after the late Mrs. Martin Luther King, in honor of her steadfast stand of the African-American heritage.

Posted by: John Birdsall at February 3, 2006 10:26 PM