September 14, 2005

John Roberts


From FoxNews: Roberts: I Have Been Forthcoming.

"I think I have been more forthcoming than any of the other nominees," [Supreme Court nominee John] Roberts said in response to [Sen. Charles] Schumer's criticism.

The nominee was willing to say that Congress has the authority to counter a controversial Supreme Court ruling that said cities have the right to seize private property for commercial use and vowed to follow the law, not his personal beliefs, on issues such as right-to-die cases.

"This body and legislative bodies in the states are protectors of the people's rights," Roberts said. "Legislators have the right to protect the rights of the people as much as courts."

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were up in arms earlier this year when a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled on what's known as "eminent domain" in the case of Kelo v. City of New London, Conn.

That ruling said cities can seize private land and homes in order to build shopping malls, convention centers or other structures to generate tax revenue. The decision drew a scathing dissent from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as favoring rich corporations, and Republican lawmakers have blasted it, saying it infringes on individual ownership rights.

Many Americans are now concerned that it has become "much easier for one man's home to become another man's castle," noted Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

Congress has been working on legislation that would ban the use of federal funds for any project based on the Kelo decision. Roberts said that was an "appropriate approach."

"What the court is saying is there is this power," he added. "That leaves the ball in the court of the legislature."

Our Kelo cartoon: Property Wrongs.

Posted by Forkum at September 14, 2005 05:05 PM