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In any event, the proper question isn't what a journalist thinks is relevant but what his or her audience thinks is relevant. Denying people information they would find useful because you think they shouldn't find it useful is censorship, not journalism.
The case decided on Thursday, though, seemed promising to takings fans because it wasn't about compensation. It was about the requirement that any government taking must have a 'public purpose.'
They can't take your house and give it to the mayor's mistress, even if they pay you for it. But they can, apparently, take your house and tear it down to make room for a development of trendy shops and restaurants, a hotel and so on.
It wouldn't be fair to say that conservatives cherish property the way liberals cherish equality. But it would be fair to say that the takings clause is the conservatives' recipe for judicial activism just as they say liberals have misused the equal protection clause.
He's nice enough not to want to be associated with a nasty remark but not nice enough not to make it. Lacking the courage of one's nastiness does not make one nice.
So the danger of conservative judicial activism has been averted for another year. Stay tuned.
The 'takings' clause of the Fifth Amendment is for conservatives what the equal protection clause of the 14th is for liberals.
A Supreme Court decision that concessions of this sort were unconstitutional would have taken them off the table and actually increased the effective sovereignty of elected officials.
In 1977, at least, he wished to have people believe that he shared and was proud of an attitude toward women that is not acceptable in a politician. In 2003, all he has said is that he doesn't remember the interview.
One answer is that the town's elected officials thought that the project served a public purpose and that the various subsidies and favors were worth the price. But they may or may not have thought this.
He hasn't said whether he remembers the episode itself - or, if he doesn't, whether that is because it never happened or because it happened too often to keep track. More important, he hasn't said what he thinks about it all from the perspective of 2003.
A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.
In those days, the late 1970s, one of the leading politicians was a soon-to-be uncle by marriage of Arnold Schwarzenegger, named Ted Kennedy.
Conservatives and liberals alike have been waiting for this moment for a third of a century.
The logic is often far-fetched - how does medical marijuana affect interstate commerce? - and some conservatives would like judges to start throwing out federal laws wholesale on commerce clause grounds. The court once again said no thanks.
Of course, conservatives always claim to be against judicial activism.
Almost any government activity can also be seen as taking property 'without just compensation.' The basic model of an unconstitutional 'taking' would be if the government threw you out of your house.
If sexual intercourse, as the poets tell us, began in 1963, it was another decade and a half before the American political system began to take notice.
In recurring episodes over the next couple of decades, the minority view gradually won. A profusion of factors differentiates each case from the others, including naked partisanship on both sides, but the trend has been clear.
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Hunter S. Thompson
William F. Buckley, Jr.
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