Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dean's Dishonesty about Kelo

It's hard to imagine a more dishonest account of why Kelo happened than this one from Democratic Chairman Howard Dean:
After asking the students to donate money to the Democratic National Committee, Dean said "one of the biggest problems in this culture of corruption that the Republicans brought to Washington, is they sold our government to the highest bidder.

"If we want it back, we'll have to buy it back," Dean said.

He also said the president was partly responsible for a recent Supreme Court decision involving eminent domain.


"The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is 'okay' to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is," Dean said, not mentioning that until he nominated John Roberts to the Supreme Court this week, Bush had not appointed anyone to the high court.

Dean's reference to the "right-wing" court was also erroneous. The four justices who dissented in the Kelo vs. New London case included the three most conservative members of the court - Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was the fourth dissenter.

The court's liberal coalition of Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer combined with Justice Anthony Kennedy to form the majority opinion, allowing the city of New London, Conn., to use eminent domain to seize private properties for commercial development.

"We think that eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. It is for public use only," Dean said.
If Dean really wants to protect property, he needs to convince his fellow Democrats that this is a wise idea, not falsely blame Republicans for the results of a liberal jurisprudence.