L. Neil Smith's
Number 326, July 3, 2005

"Hands Off My Home!"

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Logan Darrow Clements

Letter from the Editor to the Readers:

Letter from Derek Benner

Letter from Adam J. Bernay

Letter from Ali Hassan Massoud

Letter from Terry Lyon-McCarthy

Press Release
For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the Kelo vs. City of New London decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany—the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire—seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged.

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.

Logan Darrow Clements
Freestar Media, LLC

Okay, folks, now take a gander at this:

"I will pay to spend 7 nights in a hotel built on property seized from David H. Souter but only if 10 other people will too."
—Travis J I Corcoran, liberty lover

Deadline: 29th August 2005.
1063 people have signed up (1053 over target)

More details
On 23 June 2005, Supreme Court justices Stevens Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kennedy decided, in the Kelo et al. v. City Of New London et al. that local governments may seize property from one property holder and transfer it to a private citizen or firm, if the new use would "promote economic development".

Justices O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas dissented.

On 28 June 2005, Logan Darrow Clements of Freestar Media contacted Mr. Chip Meany, Code Enforcement Officer, of Weare, New Hampshire (where Justice Souter owns a home) and proposed that the town of Weare transfer Justice Souter's home to Mr. Darrow, so that Mr. Darrow might knock down Mr. Souter's home and build a hotel and museum to lost liberty on the site.

[See Previous Letter]

By signing this pledge, you agree to pay for lodging in the "Lost Liberty Hotel", once it is built at 34 Cilley Hill Road, Weare, NH.

It is expected that during one's week of residency in the hotel in Weare, lodgers will contribute significantly to the local economy -- not just staying in the hotel, but shopping, buying gas, eating at local restaurants, etc.

This pledge is important, as it will help to demonstrate

(a) the large public demand for lodging in a hotel built on what is currently Justice Souter's property

(b) the large economic benefit to the citizens of Weare that will occur once the hotel is built.

Find the Pledge at: http://www.pledgebank.com/LostLibHotel

SCOTUS and Property Rights.

Mr. Ed.

At Baen's Bar, where I tend to hang out, the've been talking about the new Deadwood TV series. Property and Environmental Research Center (PERC, www.perc.org) discusses why the town portrayed in the series is so "wrong". Much of this information is presented in the book, The Not So Wild, Wild West by Terry L Anderson and Peter J Hill.

You might want to check it out as it presents a fairer and more accurate look at the society and economy of such western towns. Terry Anderson, along with Fred S McChesny, has also published the book, Property Rights, which examines how private property rights developed and how they work to stimulate production. I'd say that both of these books should be on the libertarian bookshelf.

Derek Benner

Dear Editor:

Where's the love?

What is it with the TLE columnists? While they are absolutely right in spewing unabashed hatred at the recent Supreme Court rulings that have made it illegal for states to exercise their Constitutional right to regulate drugs and making it legal for local governments to violate individuals' Constitutional right to not have their property taken for anything other than legitimate public use and then to be justly compensated for such taking, they make broad-based complaints at the entire Court, as if these rulings were 9-0 with no dissents, instead of 6-3 and 5-4 with some brilliant dissenting opinions penned by the man who should be our next U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, Clarence Thomas.

In his dissent on the Medi-Pot case, Gonzales v. Raich, Thomas makes some important observations that should go down in history as one of the most cogent defenses of liberty in dissents ever:

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.

By holding that Congress may regulate activity that is neither interstate nor commerce under the Interstate Commerce Clause, the Court abandons any attempt to enforce the Constitution's limits on federal power. ...

As I explained at length in United States v. Lopez,... (1995), the Commerce Clause empowers Congress to regulate the buying and selling of goods and services trafficked across state lines. ... The Clause's text, structure, and history all indicate that, at the time of the founding, the term "'commerce' consisted of selling, buying, and bartering, as well as transporting for these purposes." ... Commerce, or trade, stood in contrast to productive activities like manufacturing and agriculture. ... Throughout founding-era dictionaries, Madison's notes from the Constitutional Convention, The Federalist Papers, and the ratification debates, the term "commerce" is consistently used to mean trade or exchange--not all economic or gainful activity that has some attenuated connection to trade or exchange.

Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that "commerce" included the mere possession of a good or some purely personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana. ...

On this traditional understanding of "commerce," the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), ...regulates a great deal of marijuana trafficking that is interstate and commercial in character. The CSA does not, however, criminalize only the interstate buying and selling of marijuana. Instead, it bans the entire market—intrastate or interstate, noncommercial or commercial —for marijuana. Respondents are correct that the CSA exceeds Congress' commerce power as applied to their conduct, which is purely intrastate and noncommercial.

More difficult, however, is whether the CSA is a valid exercise of Congress' power to enact laws that are "necessary and proper for carrying into Execution" its power to regulate interstate commerce. Art. I, 8, cl.18. The Necessary and Proper Clause is not a warrant to Congress to enact any law that bears some conceivable connection to the exercise of an enumerated power. Nor is it, however, a command to Congress to enact only laws that are absolutely indispensable to the exercise of an enumerated power.

To act under the Necessary and Proper Clause, then, Congress must select a means that is 'appropriate' and 'plainly adapted' to executing an enumerated power; the means cannot be otherwise 'prohibited' by the Constitution; and the means cannot be inconsistent with 'the letter and spirit of the [C]onstitution.'"

These are statements that should be understood by any reasonably intelligent adult with an education equivalent to what high school graduation should entail. They are also bold as heck, given the United States Supreme Court's willful ignorance of the United States Constitution.

As for Kelo v. New London, Justice Thomas's dissent there is similarly instructive:

If such "economic development" takings are for a "public use," any taking is, and the Court has erased the Public Use Clause from our Constitution, as Justice O'Connor powerfully argues in dissent. Ante, at 1-2, 8-13. I do not believe that this Court can eliminate liberties expressly enumerated in the Constitution and therefore join her dissenting opinion. Regrettably, however, the Court's error runs deeper than this. Today's decision is simply the latest in a string of our cases construing the Public Use Clause to be a virtual nullity, without the slightest nod to its original meaning. In my view, the Public Use Clause, originally understood, is a meaningful limit on the government's eminent domain power. Our cases have strayed from the Clause's original meaning, and I would reconsider them.
The most natural reading of the Clause is that it allows the government to take property only if the government owns, or the public has a legal right to use, the property, as opposed to taking it for any public purpose or necessity whatsoever.
The public purpose interpretation of the Public Use Clause also unnecessarily duplicates a similar inquiry required by the Necessary and Proper Clause. The Takings Clause is a prohibition, not a grant of power: The Constitution does not expressly grant the Federal Government the power to take property for any public purpose whatsoever. Instead, the Government may take property only when necessary and proper to the exercise of an expressly enumerated power.
For a law to be within the Necessary and Proper Clause, as I have elsewhere explained, it must bear an "obvious, simple, and direct relation" to an exercise of Congress' enumerated powers, Sabri v. United States, 541 U. S. 600, 613 (2004) (Thomas, J., concurring in judgment), and it must not "subvert basic principles of" constitutional design, Gonzales v. Raich, ante, at __ (Thomas, J., dissenting). In other words, a taking is permissible under the Necessary and Proper Clause only if it serves a valid public purpose. Interpreting the Public Use Clause likewise to limit the government to take property only for sufficiently public purposes replicates this inquiry. If this is all the Clause means, it is, once again, surplusage. See supra, at 3. The Clause is thus most naturally read to concern whether the property is used by the public or the government, not whether the purpose of the taking is legitimately public.

Why is it that the TLE columnists do not take a moment to cheer for Justice Thomas's dissents in these cases, and to congratulate Thomas and his colleagues Rehnquist, O'Connor, and (a half-congrats to) Scalia, for standing against these offensive breaches of the Constitution? Why is it we see references to the "Menopausal Nine" and "the nine whores in black robes", when at the most they should be screaming about six, if you refuse to give Scalia half-credit for his siding with the Constitution in Kelo?

I say, we need to give kudos to these four for standing up for the Constitution in these cases, not throwing out the baby with the bathwater by making broad-based castigations that include these courageous justices who would stand against the tide of Supreme Treason Against the Constitution and say, "Hey, wait a minute, the Constitution actually means something!"

Adam J. Bernay

Mr. Holder,

One of the best things about TLE is the fact that it has a Wendy McElroy column to read in most editions. I Googled her one day and I found TLE too and I have been a regular reader ever since.

Best regards,

Ali Hassan Massoud

Turning out incumbents

To: Mr. L. Neil Smith

Regarding your latest, "The Naked Supremes," and your thoughts on overturning the entrenched politicos, please see my website www.turnemout.freeservers.com

Yes, I know, poor design and a free website are downfalls, but I trust you will find the content to your taste.

What I wanted to do is to offer you my slogan (in place of your own suggestion), content or anything else about the site you can put to better use than I have. I don't currently have the resources to upgrade the site, I'm sure you can promote the slogan much better.

Thank you for all of your efforts, keep up the good work.

Terry Lyon-McCarthy

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