Now where do I go to get my neighborhood back?
July 26, 2006 02:42 PM
That's what some folks in Norwood must be asking today.
Yes, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the Ohio Constitution affords greater property rights protections than the U.S. Constitution does. In Ohio, it is now unconstitutional for the government to take private property and hand it over to a developer just to increase the tax base.
Kudos to the Ohio Supremes for their unanimous opinion, which we have read. Our favorite part:
Believed to be derived fundamentally from a higher authority and natural law, property rights were so sacred that they could not be entrusted lightly to the "uncertain virtues of those who govern." As such, property rights were believed to supercede constitutional principles. "To be protected and secure in the possession of one's property is a right inalienable, a right which a written constitution may recognize or declare, but which existed independently of and before such recognition, and which no government can destroy."
NBS's legal analysis? WOW. We can't believe the Ohio Supremes came right out and said it like that, but there you have it, folks. Property rights in Ohio are derived from a higher authority (and by higher authority, people, they mean God). Property rights are "inalienable." And, perhaps most intriguingly, they existed "independently" and "before" constitutional recognition. We at NBS are tantalized by the concept of pre-constitutional natural rights--and are completely dumbfounded that a unanimous Ohio Supreme Court would even mention such a concept. What is this, 1776?
Would that it were so!
Oh, and as for the City of Norwood? What was it the Court said about the "uncertain virtues of those who govern"? That's legalese for "screw you, Norwood." We have to say it again: WOW.
Kudos also to the homeowners for sticking to their guns--and for stickin' it to the man. Sorry your houses are now in the middle of that ugly mess. We know the fight was never about the money. But believe us, we won't hold it against you if name your price and cash out. You deserve it.
Plus, a Crate and Barrel really would be nice.