Tuesday, October 31, 2006

There They Go Again

Another government official is saying eminent domain is a right:
If necessary, the city of Ocean City will exercise the right of eminent domain to condemn your property. . .
Of course, we are talking about the POWER of eminent domain. Government has the right to purchase land, just like you and I do. But, this city official isn't threatening to purchase a citizen's land. This city official is threatening to take the land because of the POWER of eminent domain. But, doesn't it sound so much nicer to use a right instead of a power?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rights are enforceable claims. They can have limits placed on them. This is something recognized throughout the history of government. The limits of rights are placed in inverse proportion to how fundamental the right is. For example, your right to free speech is so great that the government may not regulate its content. Your right to liberty is so great that the government cannot deprive you of it without a lengthy criminal procedure. On the other hand, your right to drive is dependent upon your passing tests, having a certain level of eyesight, and obeying the rules of the road, etc.
What rights do NOT mean is that they are 1)all equal, and 2) that they are all inalienable.