Speakeasy forum

General discussion

(Non) property rights in California - with a twist:

It's distressing, but not at all surprising, at how quickly municipalities have been to use the confiscatory powers granted them by the Supreme Court's Kelo decision on eminent domain. You may now add Oakland, California to the list:

Last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling approving a Connecticut city's plan to take private land by eminent domain may seem far away.

But to John Revelli, whose family has operated a tire shop near downtown Oakland for decades, the implications hit home on Friday.

A team of contractors hired by the city of Oakland packed the contents of his small auto shop in a moving van and evicted Revelli from the property his family has owned since 1949.

"I have the perfect location; my customers who work downtown can drop off their cars and walk back here," said Revelli, 65, pointing at the nearby high- rises. "The city is taking it all away from me to give someone else. It's not fair."

The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autohouse, on 20th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues on Friday and evicted the longtime property owners, who have refused to sell to clear the way for a large housing development.


The primary beneficiary of all this is Albert B. Ratner, co-chair/co-owner of Forest City Enterprises, the developer that sought Mr. Revelli's property.

Now Congress is attempting to redress this situation:

The House voted yesterday to use the spending power of Congress to undermine a Supreme Court ruling allowing local governments to force the sale of private property for economic development purposes. Key members of the House and Senate vowed to take even broader steps soon.

Last week's 5 to 4 decision has drawn a swift and visceral backlash from an unusual coalition of conservatives concerned about property rights and liberals worried about the effect on poor people, whose property is often vulnerable to condemnation because it does not generate a lot of revenue.

The House measure, which passed 231 to 189, would deny federal funds to any city or state project that used eminent domain to force people to sell their property to make way for a profit-making project such as a hotel or mall. Historically, eminent domain has been used mainly for public purposes such as highways or airports...

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) introduced a similar measure and immediately drew a Democratic co-sponsor, Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.), as well as Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who is number three in his party's leadership. The House bill is sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.). Its Democratic co-sponsors include Reps. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), Maxine Waters (Calif.) and Peter A. DeFazio (Ore.).


*Recovering from the shock of finding myself on the same side of an issue with Maxine Waters. ;-)*

But at least one member of the House Democrat leadership spoke out against Congress' attempts - with typical illogic:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized the measure. "When you withhold funds from enforcing a decision of the Supreme Court, you are in fact nullifying a decision of the Supreme Court," she told reporters. "This is in violation of the respect of separation of powers in our Constitution."

It of course is NOT in violation of anything in the Constitution; this sort of thing has been done many times in the past. It seems that Rep. Pelosi needs to take a refresher course on American Government.

But why would the good gentlelady from California get her dander up? Might this be the reason?

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: At least we now know her price!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: (Non) property rights in California - with a twist:
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: (Non) property rights in California - with a twist:
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

SMART HOME

This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.