First came the Supreme Court Kelo decision that allows municipalities to take private property through eminent domain and give it to commercial developers to increase the tax base.
Then in June last year a fellow named Logan Darrow Clements presented a plan to Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter's home town council in Weare, NH, to build the Liberty Hotel on Souter's property. Of course Souter's home would have to be torn down first:
"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."
Here's a series of comments from the Conservative Tymes blog on this story. And here's the story in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Next, on January 26th of this year, Clements' group submitted a petition to the Weare, NH, town council to place a voter initiative on the March ballot to evict Souter from his home and build the Liberty Hotel:
"All we're trying to do is put an end to eminent domain abuse," Clements said, by having those who advocate or facilitate it "live under it, so they understand why it needs to end."
But today came the dispiriting news that the good people of Weare, NH, have spared Souter's home:
In a largely symbolic gesture, voters in Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s hometown on Tuesday rejected a proposal to seize his 200-year-old farmhouse as payback for a ruling that expanded government’s authority to take property.
Voters decided 1,167 to 493 in favor of the reworded measure that asked the Board of Selectmen not to use their power of eminent domain to take the farmhouse, and instead urged New Hampshire to adopt a law that forbids seizures of the sort sanctioned by the Supreme Court.
“It makes Souter the only person in the United States that would be given special protection against his own ruling,” said Logan Darrow Clements of Los Angeles, a businessman who led the campaign to evict Souter.
At least the voters urged the state of New Hampshire to revise its eminent domain laws to forbid this kind of taking.
I wonder if Justice Souter was worried or embarrassed?