The People’s Republic of Brooklyn

by Jason Fischer


“All your property rights are belong to us!”

Thanks to the socialist wing of our highest court, the language of the Fifth Amendment has been perverted to include economic development as a justifiable reason for disregarding private property rights.  In the latest episode of “how can the government make sex to me, without even buying me a drink first,” a developer in New York has convinced that state’s highest court that the New Jersey Nets need a new arena more than 146 people need to keep their homes (source).

In case you’re not familiar with United States property law, I’ll give a quick primer.  Owning “real property,” here in the U.S., essentially amounts to having the privilege of using U.S. laws and U.S. courts to enforce your rights against others.  If you don’t want your neighbor to build that fence 3 feet into your back yard, you can file a law suit and prevent him from doing that.  Since property rights come from the government, the government can potentially refuse to recognize your rights.  The Bill of Rights to our Constitution, recognizing this, includes a limitation on our government’s ability to just up and decide to turn you out of your house.  The Fifth Amendment states, among other things, that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Seems fair.  If your community needs a school or a road, and the only way that public utility can be built is to dispossess someone of their property, the government can do it, but they have to pay the fair value.  It would be better if property rights were inviolate, but clearly it’s going to come up occasionally.  The Founders came up with a plan, i.e., eminent domain, to make it reasonably just.  That worked just fine for 200 years — until some limousine liberal Supreme Court Justices decided that they knew what’s best for all of us, in their infinite paternal benevolence.

In 2005, the Court ruled 5 to 4 that handing people’s homes over to private real estate developers could be considered “public use,” within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment.  Luckily, most red states have reacted by providing state law protection for property rights (thanks be to his Noodly Goodness for the Tenth Amendment).  But the Empire State (guess which way they typically vote) is apparently okay with assisting private real estate developers in perpetrating a land grab in Brooklyn.  The following is a dramatization of what occurred:

So on this Thanksgiving, make sure you say thank you to Justice Stevens and his socialist, intellectual elitist colleges, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, for taking a collective crap on the vision of our Founders — who gave King George the finger for, among other reasons, disrespecting property rights of non-royals.  (To this day, Britons still have to rent property from the Crown, rather than own it.)  It certainly is confidence inspiring to know that a real estate developer can march into a New York court, waving a page from Hugo Chávez’s playbook, and come away with an endorsement.  Clearly, we’re moving in the right direction as a nation.

11 Responses to The People’s Republic of Brooklyn

  1. At least the guy who took the other guy’s property with a gun was honest about it.

  2. Christopher Harbin says:

    BTW, the spot where Kelo’s house was is now an empty lot and Pfizer is closing down their research facility in New London. Fantastic job, assholes.

  3. cpmondello says:

    George Bush and his Red state supporters ok’d the taking over of private land in order to build a fence to keep Mexicans out, yet, the fence had “breaks” in it…oddly, these were areas where Bush’s friends own property and country clubs.

    We the People = Socialism.

    Just like religion and political parties, there are many forms, sects and denominations.

    Most countries have more than two political parties and the Socialist branch in these countries are usually the working class, oh, the ones that toss out their rulers when they dont like them (unlike the USA) and unfortunately, the leaders that are chosen by the working folk, who demand sick time and bathroom breaks (wow…kind of how the workers of the USA got the same rights), are usually killed by the USA and the people no longer have the power.

    Socialist Party USA –

    Democratic Socialists of America –

    Party for Socialism and Liberation –

    Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –

    World Socialist Movement –

    Social Democrats, USA –

    Socialist International


  4. Does anyone know what happened with the developer in New Hampshire that was threatening to take Stephen Breyer’s farmhouse? He proposed erecting a hotel, which would have provided much more tax revenue to the township. I never knew how idle the threat actually was.

  5. Ken says:

    I’m in complete agreement with the sentiment of your article. That video clip also serves as a great metaphoric example. The only thing that became tiresome was the party condemnation. There is greed on both sides of the isle and this story is just another example of that long tradition in how politics runs our government. Most Americans have moderate political beliefs. This extra banter becomes too distracting and only leads to higher decibels and less of what we need …

    Humility, Civility, and Compassion

    • jfischer1975 says:

      It just seems like a huge coincidence that many champions of the liberal left agree with these types of decisions, and those on the conservative right denounce them.  I think part of the problem is that using only one dimension to draw the picture makes it incomplete.  In reality, a two-dimension representation is much more accurate.  Something like the below:


  6. Rick says:

    Hey, at least Empire State Development Corp. has one more win this season than the Nets do.

    If nothing else, this proves that the Justices don’t follow basketball. Fort Greene won’t truly know blight until it inherits a basketball team that has to give away tickets to its games.

  7. ES says:

    I’m not sure if I talked about this on your blog or another blog, maybe Popehat, but the justices in the majority were clear that it was a STATE DECISION to define what a “public good” was. Stevens wrote:
    “Viewed as a whole, our jurisprudence has recognized that the needs of society have varied between different parts of the Nation, just as they have evolved over time in response to changed circumstances. Our earliest cases in particular embodied a strong theme of federalism, emphasizing the “great respect” that we owe to state legislatures and state courts in discerning local public needs. See Hairston v. Danville & Western R. Co., 208 U.S. 598, 606—607 (1908) (noting that these needs were likely to vary depending on a State’s “resources, the capacity of the soil, the relative importance of industries to the general public welfare, and the long-established methods and habits of the people”).11 For more than a century, our public use jurisprudence has wisely eschewed rigid formulas and intrusive scrutiny in favor of affording legislatures broad latitude in determining what public needs justify the use of the takings power.”


    Stop with the limousine liberal talk. This is as old school, anti federalist, conservative as decisions get. If you don’t like it, take it up with your STATE legislature. Unless of course your state wants medical marijuana or enhanced air quality laws- that would impede national commerce.

  8. Skepticalinq says:

    How sad a state this country is in when justices who aid big business are called “socialist”. How sad that these guys are now considered the “left” in this country.

    Just had to add my two cents to the other posters who already schooled ya about this.

  9. @Skepticalinq, great point. There is an intellectual vacuum on the left that has allowed those on the right to control the message.

  10. cpmondello says:

    Ill repeat what I posted in part, somewhere else: ”

    It is people in America, like Elizabeth, who represent the desire of direct Democracy where there is a “mob” rule. It is no coincidence that the Republican party runs around the world speaking about “Democracy” when they do not mean representative democracy, like we are supposed to have in the USA, which is a “Republic” where we elect those to represent us, but that mob rule that crushes minorities, better known as the working class or those who want equal rights.”

    Along with Neo-Cons there are Neo-Liberals that are basically the same thing, under different guise….they are both imperialists.

    I cannot blame these folks for their imperialist-terrorist-globalist ways…for it was the same ideology/dogma that created America!

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