Missouri Libertarians Call Supreme Court Decision “Reprehensible”

06/29/2005

Libertarians resolve to protect the citizens of Missouri

Missouri Libertarians are calling for swift action to protect the citizens of Missouri from the seizure of their homes and property "in the public interest." Responding to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that significantly broadens the powers of eminent domain, Libertarians have proposed that State laws be carefully examined to assure that the rights of Missouri citizens are protected.

"Reprehensible!" was the verdict of Michael Ferguson, the 2004 Libertarian candidate for Missouri Lt. Governor. "This decision totally eviscerates the takings clause of the 5th Amendment. It opens the door to the public confiscation of private property on the weakest of standards: the hare-brained 'development' schemes of local government officials."

By a slim 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court's decision in Susette Kelo, et al. vs. The City of New London Connecticut granted broad powers for local governments to seize private property and turn it over to developers. "This decision now allows government to take your property for the sole purpose of giving it to someone else, just to generate more taxes," said Ferguson.

The Court's majority opinion, written by Justice Stevens, sets a low threshold: A local government can take your home or business away as long it has "carefully formulated an economic development plan." The ruling cited a broad standard of "appreciable benefits to the community" including "new jobs and increased tax revenue."

Libertarians call for action.

Libertarians believe that the government should not have the power to seize property on such vague standards or for such crass commercial considerations.

"We should look into Missouri's laws and start a petition drive to severely limit use of eminent domain for economic development." said Libertarian Bill Wayne of Warrensburg, MO.

"There seems to be widespread support for a Libertarian position," said Michael Pakko, of St. Louis, MO. "The homeowners and small business people of Missouri should know that we're on their side."

"We need to make sure that the citizens of Missouri are protected from the potential abuses of government power that this decision opens up," declared Missouri Libertarian Party Chair, Darla Maloney. "Libertarians will stand up for the protection of private property that was intended under the Bill of Rights."

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The Missouri Libertarian Party is one of the three officially "Established" political parties in the State of Missouri. We stand for limited government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility.