Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More on Kelo

Confession time. Before I was a lawyer, I was a journalist. Not much of an ethical change, I know, but at least lawyers don't pontificate daily on topics they are bone ignorant about, and if a lawyer lies, there is at least the remote possibility of disciplinary action, whereas the probable result for a lying journalist is a lucrative contract with Fox News.

The odd coincidence here is that jounalists are at their worst when reporting legal stories. In my roughly quarter-century of paying attention to such things, I have yet to see a news report of a court decision not completely bollocks at least one, significant point.

Today's Exhibit A: Steven Greenhut's tirade in the Orange County Register (The SL Trib also published it here.) completely misconstruing both Kelo and the Ohio Supreme Court's Norwood decision. First, Greenhut asserts that the SCOTUS should have found condemnation on behalf of private entities unconstitutional. Just how utilities, railroads, etc. would continue operating without this authority neither Greenhut nor any of the other nuts bashing on Kelo make clear. Could be because they are unclear on the concept. Greenhut goes on to congratulate the Ohio Supreme Court for finding that such condemnations are illegal. Too bad Greenhut never read the opinion, because if he had, he would have realized (assuming literacy on his part) that the Ohio SC made no such ruling. It ruled that economic benefit alone could not justify such a condemnation, but it left valid condemnations for health reasons or other demonstrable public purposes where the property ends up in private hands.

With reporting like this, it's no wonder the public has no idea what's going on.


Post a Comment

<< Home