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Thread: "Little Pink House," the Susette Kelo story, new movie....

  1. #1

    "Little Pink House," the Susette Kelo story, new movie....

    Susette Kelo's 'Little Pink House' movie shed lights on an often-ignored subject: Whether or not the government has the right to take your property.

    Like some sort of HGTV dream, Susette Kelo found a house in the perfect location and within her budget. She lovingly restored and updated it, and lived there happily ever after. Well, until she was thrown out, to be precise. Because it wasn’t an HGTV dream, but an eminent domain nightmare.

    Her “little pink house” (the color was actually called “Odessa Rose”) was condemned to make space for an industrial development project. She fought the condemnation all the way to the Supreme Court but — in what was something less than the usual rosy Hollywood ending — she lost. Her home was taken, her neighborhood was demolished, and then, adding insult to injury, the industrial redevelopment fell through and it turned out to have all been for nothing.

    And though the ending wasn’t Hollywood-rosy, her story is now the subject of a Hollywood movie, Little Pink House, starring Catherine Keener as Susette Kelo, Jeanne Tripplehorn as the delightfully smug and manipulative leader of the redevelopment effort, and Callum Keith Rennie as Kelo’s boyfriend and later husband.


    I was fortunate enough to get an advance screener, and showed the film, which opens later this week, to my Constitutional Law class at the University of Tennessee. (You can see a trailer here.) My verdict: Little Pink House is an outstanding and moving treatment of a legal issue that gets far too little attention: The extent to which the state can take your property away just because it thinks it has a better use for it.

    The Bill of Rights is supposed to protect your property. It provides that private property can’t be taken from its owners except for public use, and with the payment of “just compensation” to its owners. But the way that both of those concepts have been applied by the courts is problematic, to say the least.

    Few people have problems with taking private property for obvious public uses like roads, bridges, or schools. But courts have interpreted “public use” to mean pretty much anything the government says is for the benefit of the public, or for a “public purpose.” In the 1954 case of Berman v. Parker, the Supreme Court held that “when the legislature has spoken, the public interest has been declared in terms well nigh conclusive.” Or to put it more plainly, the public interest is whatever the legislature says it is.

    As for compensation, what’s considered “just” is basically the market value of the property. But often the property is more valuable to its owners than to the market, which is why they haven’t sold. Perhaps it’s because it’s a farm or home that’s been in the family for generations, imbuing it with memories that the family values but the market doesn’t. In Susette Kelo’s case, she found a modest home that she could afford with a great water view. That wasn’t something she could easily replace — the Little Pink House press kit notes that the filmmakers had a very hard time finding a similar location for filming, because there aren’t a lot of really inexpensive houses with great water views out there — and she also valued her home because she had put a lot of her own sweat and effort into fixing it up, something any HGTV viewer should be able to appreciate.

    So when Pfizer built a plant, and the New London Development Corporation (an arm of the State of Connecticut) decided that Susette Kelo’s house would be more valuable to the community, by generating more property taxes and jobs, if it were in someone else’s hands, the law was pretty unfavorable. But Kelo fought, and took her case all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Unlike another film I sometimes show, the superb Brown v. Board of Education docudrama, Separate But Equal, there’s no happy ending to Little Pink House. The case was argued ably by the Institute For Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, but in the end, she lost 5-4. Susette Kelo had to move, her neighborhood was demolished, and then, in a harshly ironic development, Pfizer pulled out, and the former site of her house is now just a vacant lot, shown at the end of the film. Dissenting from the decision, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote, “The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”

    I think that’s wrong, and, judging by polls at the time of the decision, so did most Americans. In fact, a Christian Science Monitor poll showed that 93% of Americans thought the Court got it wrong, and many state legislatures and supreme courts instituted statutory or constitutional changes to make taking private property more difficult, especially when the purpose is to transfer ownership to another private entity.

    Little Pink House is worth seeing, even if you’re not a constitutional law student. Sure, the good guys lost. But sometimes it’s worth fighting even when you lose.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opini...n=news-opinion




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  3. #2
    It will just make me cry to see the "delightfully smug" victory.
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  4. #3
    eminent domain should be outlawed... it's nothing more than out-&-out theft.

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

  5. #4
    I wish I still had my email exchange between myself and the chairman of the New London city council on this subject.

    This issue was the last issue I think united citizens across the spectrum, regardless.

    The protests and such I took part in were a harbinger of the Ron Paul phenomenon a couple of years later.

    God damn shame all around, how everything turned out.

    Except for this:

    I think that’s wrong, and, judging by polls at the time of the decision, so did most Americans. In fact, a Christian Science Monitor poll showed that 93% of Americans thought the Court got it wrong, and many state legislatures and supreme courts instituted statutory or constitutional changes to make taking private property more difficult, especially when the purpose is to transfer ownership to another private entity.

    Little Pink House is worth seeing, even if you’re not a constitutional law student. Sure, the good guys lost. But sometimes it’s worth fighting even when you lose.
    The single proudest moment I have in my political "career" was being part of getting this amendment to the state constitution passed in New Hampshire:

    [Art.] 12-a. [Power to Take Property Limited.] No part of a person's property shall be taken by eminent domain and transferred, directly or indirectly, to another person if the taking is for the purpose of private development or other private use of the property.
    Last edited by Anti Federalist; 04-16-2018 at 04:11 PM.

  6. #5
    Here's hoping millions and millions see this, and it's a huge hit.

  7. #6
    From the following thread:



    Trump on the Kelo v. New London decision: "I'm one hundred percent in favor of it"

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...vor-of-it-quot

    In favor of government seizing people's homes based on the idea that high rolling real estate speculators, like Trump, can generate more taxes for government with condos, high rises and yacht clubs.

    He is one hundred percent in favor of one of the very worst SCROTUS decisions, ever.


    Trump on Kelo: I happen to agree with it 100 percent

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2011/04/20...t-100-percent/

    by Owen Brennan

    April 20, 2011 - 10:44 am

    Credit Mark Levin with bursting the Trump bubble. Just last week he was the first voice on the right to thoroughly dissect Trump’s history of political activity (donations to Hillary, Weiner, Rahm, Schumer and others).

    He was also the first to ask a number of important questions about Trump’s world view, including, “What does he think about Kelo?” The Club for Growth is out today with the answer … directly from Trump himself from 2005 on Fox News.

    “I happen to agree with it 100 percent, not that I would want to use it. [note below, he would actually want to use it]

    But the fact is, if you have a person living in an area that’s not even necessarily a good area, and government, whether it’s local or whatever, government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and make area that’s not good into a good area, and move the person that’s living there into a better place — now, I know it might not be their choice — but move the person to a better place and yet create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good.”
    But the reality is, Trump did try to use the power of eminent domain to seize private property. He did this in Altlantic City, and it wasn’t to build an elementy school or even a “tremendous economic development.” He wanted to knock down an old lady’s home so he could build a parking lot for limousines near his casino.

    Full disclosure: I used to work for the Institute for Justice, which successfully defended Vera Coking against Trump’s land grab in Atlantic City. More details about that case can be found here.

    The Right’s love fest with Donald Trump is coming to an end. But will the media’s love affair with him ever end? The MSM isn’t known for vetting their own, so they’re likely to only give Trump the harry eyeball if he wins the nomination. Don’t forget, John McCain was the MSM’s second favorite candidate out of the entire 2008 field. And we know how well that ended.
    Last edited by Anti Federalist; 04-16-2018 at 02:45 PM.

  8. #7

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by shakey1 View Post
    eminent domain should be outlawed... it's nothing more than out-&-out theft.
    I googled and binged "Armed citizens defend against eminent domain." Nada, zero, zilch.



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  11. #9
    New London Development Corporation
    How appropriate.
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  12. #10
    $#@! eminent domain and everyone who has ever used it.

  13. #11
    Kelo v. New London decision... the trick was to expand the meaning of 'public use'... now the goobermint may take private property currently put to ordinary private use, and give it over for new, ordinary private use.

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows



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