Skip to comments.City to seize church by eminent domain (churches don't produce tax revenue)
Posted on 03/11/2006 6:19:18 PM PST by sionnsar
The city of Long Beach, Calif., is using the power of eminent domain bolstered by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling to condemn a Baptist congregation's church building.
The city wants to remove the Filipino Baptist Fellowship's building to make way for condominiums, the Baptist Press reported.
The city will hold a hearing March 13 and vote on a resolution authorizing the city attorney to begin condemnation proceedings.
[ ] Baptist Press noted there are eight other active cases of eminent domain abuse against churches across the country, according to the Institute for Justice, a civil liberties law firm in Arlington, Va.
(Read the whole article on WorldNet Daily)
I hope no one is surprised by this. If Kelo v. City of New London continues to stand, we are likely to see a whole lot more of it. Churches, after all, are among the prime targets for seizure since they produce no tax revenue. Perhaps wed best start looking to see what we can use as the equivalent of catacombs.
The whole thing is kind of funny, in a way. The authorities just arrested three kids for burning down a bunch of Baptist churches in Alabama. The jerks are likely to get (deservedly) some pretty serious jail time. Other than being legal, however, how are Long Beachs actions any different?
On the other hand, perhaps the court will use this as an opportunity to correct the hideous decision they made in Kelo.
Oh geeeez, eminent domain was not bolstered by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling... it has been, and always will be a power reserved to states or local govt. to control or abuse. If citizens are too lazy to enact laws to protect abusive use of domain statutes then too bad....its not a US Supreme Court concern.
City Halls don't produce revenue either. Wonder what would happen if 'the new shopping mall' wanted the cities land?
Bonnie Lowenthal, Frank Colonna, Patrick O'Donnell, Jackie Kell, Laura Richardson, Tonia Reyes Uranga, Rae Gabelich, Val Lerch, and, as Mayor, Beverly O'Neill
I'm not going to suggest that this particular group finds no problem whatsoever in seizing a Philipino Baptist Church, but then again, you just never know.
Well, actually, we do know because they are doing so. It's got the same outcome as if they were lighting matches to the place.
We should all take note of this story.
Ah yes, Long Beach, the gay city.
This is nothing new. Once a church (or any other organization for that matter) that applies for a license and / or a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status from any government agency, then the agency be it local, state or federal (government) now has total control over not only what can be said and done within the organization, but also the ultimate fate of the organization..
>> Oh geeeez, eminent domain was not bolstered by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling... it has been, and always will be a power reserved to states or local govt. to control or abuse. <<
Really? It has always? I'm sure you can provide the precendents, then? So, please do educate all of us, Ms. O'Connor*, when has eminent domain ever been used in the 18th or 19th centuries to benefit a private citizen for no public good other than a supposed increase in tax revenue?
Even if the wording of the Constitution is ambiguous, the practice is not. It is quite plain that the founding fathers considered the unjust siezure of private property both contemptible and destructive of freedom.
(* Oh, excuse me... I just presumed you were she, from your screen name... only taunting :^) ...)
This reminds me of Mel Gibson shouting FREEEEDOM in the movie Braveheart before getting his head lopped off.
Really? It has always? I'm sure you can provide the precendents, then? So, please do educate all of us, Ms. O'Connor*, when has eminent domain ever been used in the 18th or 19th centuries to benefit a private citizen for no public good other than a supposed increase in tax revenue? Even if the wording of the Constitution is ambiguous, the practice is not. It is quite plain that the founding fathers considered the unjust siezure of private property both contemptible and destructive of freedom.The takings clause is ambiguous because it was inserted as a direct limitation upon Congress and not local govt. There was no issue when the takings clause addressed only Congress because Congress had such limited powers to exercise the taking of private property under the constitution, unlike State govts.
Every thing in the first 8 amendments is going to be ambigious because they were written for limitations of Congress, not State govts. When Madison attempted to offer a Bill of Rights for both Congress and the States it was rejected because no one wanted Congress with any jurisdiction to legislate anything within the States.
It is up to the citizens to define their own laws what constitutes public works, the Supreme Court can only insure that just compensation has been offered.
>> It is up to the citizens to define their own laws what constitutes public works, the Supreme Court can only insure that just compensation has been offered. <<
No, actually, it's not. Rights are inherent, and are not CREATED by government. Rather, their existence is merely RECOGNIZED by government. Further, a deed of ownership is a legal contract, authorized by the state, and existant in state law, that gives the holder the right to decide the conditions under which he will relinquish that ownership.
The takings clause is not relevant because it establishes that a right to ownership exists. Rather, it is relevant because it establishes that there is a limit to the absoluteness of that right. And indeed, such a limit was observed in the practice of law. The colonies, however, were upset that the right had not been properly recognized by the King, and so, when they created their government, they added a point of clarification to correct the King's failure to recognize the right, so that their government would not.
The onus, therefore, is not on the part of the owners to prove that their continued ownership is guaranteed in law; the onus is on the state to demonstrate that there existed a limitation to the right of ownership which had previously been recognized.
My assertion is that the historical record suggests that the authority of eminent domain, as practiced by New London, is a novel assertion of an authority. I challenge you to demonstrate that the authority of eminent domain had ever been recognized as the ability to take over land merely on the basis that another potential landowner might generate more tax revenue.
"On the other hand, perhaps the court will use this as an opportunity to correct the hideous decision they made in Kelo."
I would hope so. That decision has done no good whatsoever, and Souter outta be fired for being such a moron...
The Arizona Constitution contains the very strongest protection of private property rights in the nation. Arizona allows governments to condemn private property only for clearly defined public purposes, such as roadways and police stations, or certain very specific private purposes, such as a right of way or a drain. As written, that constitution gives Arizona property owners complete security against arbitrary condemnation and seizure by local governments.
Thus, taking of private property for the reason to generate more property tax is not a right recognized under the AZ Constitution.
Just in case anyone was under the dilusion that as a "Property Owner" you actually own your real estate. Wake up, now. If this Baptist community really did own the building, it wouldn't be taken away, in a free country that is.
So, either our ownership of real property is an illusion, or else this is not a free country. It's one or the other, and I'm not sure which is worse. Are you?
Catacombs for rent!
One problem with that: with technology, artificial lighting will make this catacomb thing a whole new game...
Ever hear of SCOTUS? Your state constitution is a sitting duck for revision when the big boys get involved. Arizona might be a hold out, but it would have to secede from the nation before it could adequately safeguard this property rights issue. And as a landlocked area, it would simply get cut off from the rest of the world.
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