Star Parker

And this decision was carried out thanks to the Supreme Court's liberals. The conservatives voted against it. It says it all that Clarence Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion and that the NAACP was there on his side!

A recent Cato Institute study reports on the magnitude of confiscations that have taken place over the years under so-called "urban renewal" programs. The report cites a study estimating that, between 1950 and 1980, about 1 million families, possibly around 4 million individuals, were displaced from their homes by federally sponsored urban-renewal condemnations, inflicting huge social and economic costs on these communities.

I myself fear for my own family's property. My granddad, who used to say that you need two things to stay free _ property and a gun _ acquired several hundred acres in South Carolina through the sweat of his brow. This man, one generation away from his slave predecessors, struggled and succeeded to get his few acres on which he could be the free man he longed to be.

Now I fear that our family's legacy is not secure. The government can show up in the night _ in a fashion not all that different from the world of Saddam Hussein that our American troops have fought and died to depose _ to take away our property. Just compensation? What does that mean? How do you compensate someone for their roots, for the home and land that they love?

The fund apparently that has been set aside to compensate the 15 holdouts in New London is $1.5 million. Since they were roughly 10 percent of the total lot holders, I would estimate that total compensation for the displacement would be about $15 million. The value we put on freedom is becoming cheaper every day.

However, to return to the general from the particular, this wide-ranging interpretation of government takings is rooted in the same school of thought _ a fundamentally liberal school of thought _ that sees the law as a tool of social engineering rather as the tool for protecting citizens.

The Supreme Court justices who have just used our Constitution to justify taking property from one set of private citizens and turning it over to others are the same jurists that liberals are in love with because they carry their water on issues like abortion and affirmative action. Both of these issues are, of course, pure social engineering, and in the former case, departing from using traditional law to protect life and inventing new law to destroy it.

Americans, particularly our most vulnerable Americans, need the protection of law. This is why we need great conservative judges.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.