Eminent Domain - give Bush some credit

Dubya has restricted Federal use of Eminent Domain by Executive order.

Or is this smoke and mirrors?

It’s a political move. One I heartily approve of, but a political move nonetheless. He is playing to the conservatives out West. When Congress puts some teeth behind it…then I’ll applaud.

When has Bush done something that’s not smoke and mirrors?

Dunno about smoke and mirrors, but can’t he just unrestrict it by Executive Order later?

Is the US Federal government restrained by state laws, are there non-overlapping federal and state spheres of jurisdiction, or is this another of those Beyond the Rule of Law things? And does this say anything about whether non-federal entities are similarly restricted?

Go read up about the great Texas Rangers baseball team land grab. They wanted a new stadium, got the local govt to ED not just the land for the stadium and parking, but a huge surrounding area of farmland.

The surrounding land that was taken quickly became very valuable and is now filled with malls, hotels and such.

Guess how much money the farmers got for this valuable land? C’mon, guess.

Oh, and while you’re reading about this, see if a certain someone’s name doesn’t appear.

The federal governement, states and municipalities have eminent domain power, and the federal eminent domain power is not limited by state law under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. On the other hand, an executive order of the President has no power over state or municipal use of eminent domain.

The practices at issue in the Supreme Court case, the use of eminent domain for economic development rather than for a “pure” public use (e.g. roadways, governmental buildings, etc.), is almost entirely done at a state or local level. The idea is to encourage economic development in a particular locality, something the federal government rarely gets involved in that manner.

So, whether or not the executive order is smoke and mirrors, it will likely have little practical effect.

I agree that it’s a nice gesture, but I’m wondering if it means anything at all.

For the Feds to excercise Eminent Domain, wouldn’t that require a vote of the legislature to approve? But EOs only have the force of law until the legislature says otherwise. So essentially the EO is only effective as long as the Congress isn’t trying to take ED in the first place.

I suppose that Bush could then veto the law overriding his EO, but I think he lost the pen.

Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.

It also apparently took lots of conservative lobbying to PREVENT the White House from filing a brief IN FAVOR of the winning side on Kelo.

You know, aside from the giant boondoggle staduim steal: the only business GW was ever successful at involved using the government to grab ridiculous amounts of land for his and his pal’s personal use and enrichment.

Much as I hate Bush, I will acknowledge that he got this one right. I’m not sure how much effect it will have legally, but a clear showing of disdain for private eminent domain seizures from the top can’t hurt at the local level.

Cite? (For there ever having a business at which W was successful, but also for the rest.)

Brace yourself. I’m going to say something good about President Bush.

He’s an amazingly effective president. Some people may love his policies; some people may hate his policies. But one thing is indisputable - the vast majority of the time, when Bush decides he wants to do something, he gets it done. The debacles over Harriet Meiers and the Dubai port deal were so noticable because they were so out of character for this administration.

Now I want to distinguish the very rare cases where Bush was actually denied something he wanted from the much more common situations where Bush gave some lip service to an idea he wasn’t really interested in. There have been many times when Bush said something was going to happen because it helped him politically without having any intent to actually follow through on his words with any action.

And the other obvious thing is that in this regard Bush is like Lyndon Johnson (who was another really effective president). Just because an idea is effectively pursued doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. It can just mean that when you end up in a hole, it’s going to be a really deep one.

Smoke and Mirrors. From the text of the order:

I’m not sure that changes anything. As already stated, I’ve never heard of a case of the Federal gov’t using Eminent Domain for economic development. And in anycase, all Eminent Domain purchases, including Kelo, are supposedly done to benefit the general public, not just advance the interest of private parties. Of course sometimes private parties benefit (say the Texas Rangers), but the ED seizures aren’t done (in theory) to help the Rangers, thats just incendental to the public benefit (more tax revenue, nice new stadium for the city, etc.)

And “public use” has already been decided by the Supreme Court to include seizures like that in Kelo (yes I know that the Supreme Court doesn’t interpret Executive Orders, I’m just pointing out that the phrase “public use” can be interpreted as “private parties generating more tax revenue for the public”, not just “road or hospital”).

So it’s a politcal move to make it look like he’s doing something about an issue that the public has expressed concern about without actually limiting executive power in any meaningful way.

Sorry, forgot to link the full order:

Here I am, why doesn’t fox news just link to me from thier story? I’m short and easy to read

Note there’s a lot of exceptions to the paragraph I quoted, making it more toothless. If there is any real blowback at the federal level from the Kelo decision, it will be through the legislature, which currently has a bill or two pending limiting Eniment Domain.

He is a Politician, you know. EVERYTHING he does is a political move.

I have the opposite impression. The Bush Administration seems to me to be policitally savy but when it comes to policy they are inept. What exactly have they managed to successfully accomplish outside the Executive other than tax cuts and court packing? Nothing major, it seems to me. And within the Executive Bush’s legacy has been one of startling ineptitude except when strengthening Executive authority by exploiting 9/11. Certainly I have a pretty heavy anti-Bush view but if I am wrong about this I would like to know.

As for the OP, I’d prefer to wait to see how things work in practice before giving our President any credit for doing the right thing. Excuse me if the Bush Regime’s past performace has left me sceptical. So far the only stance I recall him taking that I agreed with was that people who chose to build homes on floodplains and who have already received more than their property is worth from insurance after losing said homes shouldn’t qualify for federal assistance. And that was long before Katrina.

I would like to say that the Fox News story contains a version of the usual mischaracterization of the Kelo decision. The decision did nothing to limit homeowner’s rights. Instead it, rightly in my opinion, declined to overturn tradition by involving the federal government in what has been a state matter. Failing to expand the rights of homeowners is not the same thing as limiting them.

Just my 2sense

But the New York Times recently editorialised in favour of eminent domain (having gotten its new digs that way), and thinks that Kelo v. New London is just … swell.

[snark]So I guess that Bush43 sucks, even though he’s trying, in this one isolated case, to reign in some of that governmental mojo.[/snark]

Eminent domain must be carefully balanced against property rights. If these “Tax Base/Private Development”=“Public Purpose” people actually successfully sell this particular flavour of Kool Aid, then the concept of private property becomes a sort of extended lease, revokable on demand by any group seeking to develop your property.

He has the house ,the senate and newspapers , tv and radio under control. They are doing the programs the rich and powerful want. How could he fail. There is no effective opposition. It doesn’t mean he isn’t wrong in what he does. When emminent domain is decided on a case by case basis, the wealthy will win.

I’d say that anyone between the NYT and Bush, inclusive, are the ones most likely to support eminent domain. I’m surprised Bush decided to restrict it, and not only due to the fact that he has benefitted from it in the past. I bet it’s a sop to the hard-liners in his party.

The debate over Kelo boils down to the Libertarian Right and Libertarian Left united against the Governmentalist Middle.

I must have missed those while following the administration’s successful drives to convert Social Security to personally owned accounts, to abrogate the civil-service protection rules, to abolish the death tax–

'Scuse me. The miscalibration alarm in my paratime jumper is going off; my lock-in to Homeline on that last jump may have been off…