I will spare you the rest of the arguments; I am not a lawyer and other people with a better knowledge of the law can make those arguments much better than I can, but I trust you’ll allow me an observation here. This decision cannot help but lessen respect for the Court in particular and for the law in general. The Court has already placed strict limits on political speech, thereby making it next to impossible to bring up an incumbent’s record when broadcasting political advertisements. Now the Court has declared that these incumbents may take the property of private citizens at the behest of their campaign contributors. How can the public respect the law when that same public believes that the law is bought and paid for, that the people that they elect to public office to defend their interests are just so many Charlie McCarthys willing to sell their offices to the Edgar Bergen with the largest checkbook? Can the public respect its elected officials when they suspect that they are all grafters, and that the Court’s response to any reformer willing to challenge the political status quo and do the people’s business honestly is “Shut up, we said.”
I do not believe this decision will ultimately stand the test of time. This decision opens the way for situations so ripe for abuse that the Court will have to revisit Kelo in ten or twenty years, after tens of thousands of people have had their lives disrupted by the decision, disruptions the Court could have prevented in the first place by simply using a dictionary and checking what the words public and use mean.