Friday, July 29, 2005

Number 5

If I ever make a rock album, it will have as its penultimate track a parody of "Revolution Number 9" from the Beatles' White Album. But instead of the phrase "number 9, number 9" intoning repeatedly (and which when played backwards allegedly said "Paul is a deadman,") one will hear the phrase "Amendment 5, Amendment 5" which will sound out "due process" no matter how you play it.

From what I can make of it, all the hoo-hah about the recent Supreme Court decision in Kelo vs. the City of New London is that it seems to allow municipalities to take private land from private individuals and then turn this property over to other private individuals.

That's kind of like stealing. Hence the concern.

Interestingly, New York State Senator John A. DeFrancisco says this:

Because I strongly agree with Justice O'Connor's dissent, I began drafting legislation to modify New York's eminent domain law immediately after the Kelo decision. The decision left leeway for a remedy. It hinted that each state has the right to decide how expansive its eminent domain laws should be within its borders. On July 21, I introduced my bill that would restrict the use of eminent domain.

State Senator DeFrancisco believes that within Kelo there is a "hint" that it would still allow states to maintain a certain amount of legal sanity regarding this issue. Perhaps even outlawing the inevitable abuse that could inherently flow from the Kelo decision.

I've e-mailed his office to see if I can download a copy of his bill, (or obtain a link,) because I'd like to pass it along to my legislators here in The Great South West.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Not bad, that. I would think that the 5th Amendment still has some advocates, maybe none among the President's business circles where it's probably seen as a hindrance, but here at a local level.

And now it's time to say goodnight.

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