WorldNetDaily | July 11, 2005
Supreme Court Justice David Souter probably never expected his vote to permit a Connecticut town the power to seize the homes of citizens would come back to haunt him.
But it may.
An effort by a Los Angeles advertising entrepreneur to persuade the city fathers of Weare, N.H., to turn the tables on Souter by seizing his home and building a hotel on the site is gaining steam.
Logan Darrow Clements and his company, Free Star Media, are now collecting online contributions from the public to support the project.
"There's lots of work that still needs to be done to accomplish our objectives," Clements told WND. "But I am confident we can be successful. This is a way ordinary Americans can fight back – not just against Souter, but against local officials who abuse their authority and callously seize the homes of law-abiding citizens out of sheer greed."
The town of Weare has been inundated with calls in support of the proposal since WND first publicized the story of how Clements plans to turn eminent domain against one of its champions. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 two weeks ago that local towns and cities can seize homes and private businesses through eminent domain and turn the properties over to private developers for no other reason than the fact that it would result in higher tax revenues for the municipality.
Logan Darrow Clements
"There are so many people who have come out of the woodwork to support me," Clements said. "Government has just gotten far too big and far too powerful. ... We're trying to make a larger point that we're losing freedom so fast in America that we have to stop what we're doing and take a stand and fight it."
A few days after the ruling, Clements faxed a request to Chip Meany, the code enforcement officer of Weare, seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road, the present location of Souter's home.
"Am I taking this seriously? But of course," Meany told the Associated Press. "In lieu of the recent Supreme Court decision, I would imagine that some people are pretty much upset. If it is their right to pursue this type of end, then by all means let the process begin."
Clements wants to build "The Lost Liberty Hotel" on the property as a kind of museum commemorating the lost right to private property in America.
The Kelo v. City of New London decision allows the New London, Conn., government to seize the homes and businesses of residents to facilitate the building of an office complex that would provide economic benefits to the area and more tax revenue to the city.
Though the practice of eminent domain is provided for in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, the case is significant because the seizure is for private development and not for "public use," such as a highway or bridge. The decision has been roundly criticized by property-rights activists and limited-government commentators.
The first step in the process, said Clements, is to get the Weare Board of Selectmen to vote in favor of the seizure. However, even if that action is unsuccessful, Clements says citizens in the town can and will draft a ballot initiative to accomplish the objective.