Another Huge Blow to Property Rights
The US Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, rejected the claims of rancher Harvey Robbins who was suing government employees who trashed his property during a dispute over access to a road leading to a National Forest over his property.
As I read it, this decision is worse than the Kelo case in that:
- The government no longer needs to advance eminent domain proceedings to seize private property. It is now permitted to harass property owners – until eventually they give up their property without just compensation.
- The Supreme Court seems to have said, “we understand that the government officials behaved badly, but if we do anything about it, then we’d have to do something about all of the other government officials who behave badly, and we simply cannot do that.” That is spineless and an egregious display of the lack of accountability in government, particularly given the power of interest groups in determining election outcomes.
It is also ironic (which is to say I have no understanding) that the two dissenters in this case were JP Stephens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.