America as a free nation died Thursday. Death came without mercy at the hands of the United States Supreme Court which ruled, in a split 5-4 decision, that a city has the right to steal an American citizen’s property without due course and turn it over to private developers.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor had it right in her scathing dissent when she wrote: “Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner … who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public in the process.”
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s call on Thursday for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign – delivered before television cameras in a one-on-one confrontation at a hearing – was only the latest note in a crescendo of criticisms against the Bush administration as polls show Americans souring on the war in Iraq.
“The U.S. Supreme Court destroyed everybody’s lives today, everybody who owns a home,” said Richard Beyer, owner of two rental properties in the once-vibrant immigrant neighborhood.