Thursday, August 20, 2009

George F. Will - Bulldozing the First Amendment -

The Institute for Justice -- an Arlington-based public-interest group that represented the victims of eminent domain in New London; it also is assisting the Gores -- identifies a national trend of attempted intimidation by litigation. For example, in Clarksville, Tenn., the institute successfully defended a group of property owners sued for $500,000 by a city councilman and a business interest claiming injury by a newspaper advertisement objecting to their eminent domain plans. In Renton, Wash., two developers sued a woman for statements she made while resisting a blight designation of her property, including, for example, that one of the developers is "a haughty and proud Pharisee." The Supreme Court is blameworthy for two entangled abuses. It diluted property rights in the Kelo case and it weakened freedom of speech by not overturning McCain-Feingold. Fortunately, in an unusual Sept. 9 session, the court will hear, for a second time, oral arguments in a case arising from that law's speech restrictions.

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