Saturday, January 21, 2006


One of the most obnoxious Supreme Court decisions of all time was the eminent domain ruling last year that said the government can seize your home if it can get more tax revenue by selling it to someone else. Since the local government sets the taxes, that puts the decision to take your home completely in their hands. Anyone getting mad yet? Apparently some people are:
Justice David Souter, one of the legal geniuses behind this ruling, is now facing a vote in March to see if he loses his own home. The town of Weare, New Hampshire, population 8,500, will vote on whether a new business, the Lost Liberty Inn, gets to buy the Judge’s 200-year-old home out from under him. Word is that the town will probably defeat the measure, but the fact that the Justice has to wonder if he’s going to be evicted, is sweet payback indeed. What does it really mean if we only get to stay in our homes, based on the whims of the local government? Can we still talk about owning a home anymore, or is that concept over? What about the vast potential for governmental abuse here? What if someone in power - or in this case, some political activists - just want to punish you with this? Oh well. Let us know how the vote turns out, Judge. Maybe we can collect some cardboard boxes for you, if you have to move.


At 7:47 AM, Blogger Garage Wine said...

Is this relevant for Portland? You bet! Look at South Waterfront, where the only property owner who was not a party to the Development Agreement had its property condemned to be turned into a park. And it only cost $7.5 million to condemn/buy it!

BTW, Bill, you'll get more comments (and readership) if you allow anonymous comments. You can always shut it down if the pornsters and card players start trolling.

PS: You inspired me start my own blog @

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Dear Garage Wine,
Thanks, I'll look into that. I'm sort of winging this as you might have guessed. This is the blog version of a city council budget meeting.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just moved to OR from New Hampshire. Souter is a favorite son of NH, and especially of his town (Weare, NH). There's absolutely no way that the townspeople will vote to evict him from his home. This is only a cheap stunt.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Dear Anonymous,
I realize it's probably not going to happen, but it does serve to illustrate the new ruling. Why should the judge even have to worry for a second that he might lose his home? That's what's wrong with this. i bet if he lived in Manchester, New Hampshire he'd face getting tossed from his home.
Now. the people in the original case weren't powerful and they weren't favorite sons. Not only did they lose their property but the government is trying to charge them back rent for the time the case was being fought. That should make anybody mad.
Oh, one more thing: Welcome to Oregon. You've made a good decision coming here.

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Kari Chisholm said...

Hey Bill... Your new bit of blog homework is to learn how to make links.

It's the internet, after all. Links are king. (It's how people find you, so return the favor...)

On this post, a link to a news story about the town vote in Weare NH would be good....

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Kari Chisholm said...

p.s. Keep up the good work. You're already on my daily checklist.


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