Shorter Lefty Blogosphere Reaction to Kelo


  • "hoyapaul," on The Daily Kos*: Thank God we stopped the property-rights extremists in their tracks!
  • Atrios: It could have been worse—conservatives could have written a majority opinion.
  • Matthew Yglesias: It's not the end of the world, therefore I'm angry that people are outraged about it.

Taking the cake (or should I say "razing the house"?) is this nauseating New York Times editorial, which begins thusly:

The Supreme Court's ruling yesterday that the economically troubled city of New London, Conn., can use its power of eminent domain to spur development was a welcome vindication of cities' ability to act in the public interest. It also is a setback to the "property rights" movement, which is trying to block government from imposing reasonable zoning and environmental regulations.

Yesterday, Julian Sanchez asked, in the wake of Raich and Kelo, "will some court-watchers on the left begin to question the wisdom of having let economic freedom become the red-headed stepchild of modern jurisprudence?" A preliminary answer—some may have, but several of the more influential ones have concluded that the unchecked government power to bulldoze your home and sell your property to Wal-Mart is the price we all must pay to avoid the scourge of "property rights extremism." Rarely are public policy issues so stark, in terms of revealing whose side you're on. If it's a mainstream liberal idea that defending the rights of an individual human against the zillion-pound hammer of government is "extremism," then mainstream liberalism is sicker than I thought.

* Originally said "kos." Damned group weblogs!

UPDATE: Like I said, "stark." Yglesias comments on my Wal-Mart scenario: "Pejorative rhetoric aside, that's absolutely correct." Then adds:

Matt, Julian, and co. down at Reason have an extreme and pernicious view of property rights that, if implemented in full, would have disastrous consequences for the country.

You heard it right: If our nation's city halls didn't have the ability to seize your property any time they thought a new owner could produce more sales-tax revenue, the result would be "disastrous." It's a wonder how we made it through those first two centuries….