Justice John Steven passes away…
Rest In Peace sir. You served the nation well.
Thoughts and prayers for his family.
RIP Justice Stevens.
You served well.
It’s amazing how many people are into their late 80’s and into their 90’s.
served his country was part of a number of landmark cases.
He was a mixed Judge not a fan of the second, big fan of the Fourth.
Rest in Peace
Served the nation well? He ignored our Constitution’s amendment process, Article V, and took it upon himself to arbitrarily change the meaning of our Constitution.
Have you forgotten the Kelo decision?
In Kelo, Justice Stevens actually indicates the Court will ignore the meaning of “public use” as it was understood when our Constitution was adopted, justifying such tyranny because of the “evolving needs of society” even though a fundamental rule of constitutional construction requires:
”Words or terms used in a constitution, being dependent on ratification by the people voting upon it, must be understood in the sense most obvious to the common understanding at the time of its adoption…”__ (my emphasis) ___ 16 Am Jur 2d Constitutional law, Meaning of Language
Justice Stevens in delivering the opinion of the Court wrote:
"…while many state courts in the mid-19th century endorsed “use by the public” as the proper definition of public use, that narrow view steadily eroded over time. Not only was the “use by the public” test difficult to administer (e.g., what proportion of the public need have access to the property? at what price?),7 but it proved to be impractical given the diverse and always evolving needs of society.8 Accordingly, when this Court began applying the Fifth Amendment to the States at the close of the 19th century, it embraced the broader and more natural interpretation of public use as "public purpose.
The irrefutable fact is, the people did not erode the meaning of “public use” via an appropriate constitutional amendment process which is the only lawful way to change the meaning of words in a Constitution. Justice Stevens took it upon himself to do for the people what they did not willingly and knowingly do for themselves with a constitutional amendment as required by our Constitution, and, the he brazenly appealed to the “evolving needs of society” to justify its own “broader and more natural interpretation” of “public use”. And this amounted to judicial tyranny!
On the other hand, Justice Thomas, in his dissenting opinion, observes the rules of constitutional law and carefully documents the meaning of the words “public use” as they were understood during the time the constitution was adopted. He then concludes:
”The Court relies almost exclusively on this Court’s prior cases to derive today’s far-reaching, and dangerous, result. See ante, at 8-12. But the principles this Court should employ to dispose of this case are found in the Public Use Clause itself, not in Justice Peckham’s high opinion of reclamation laws, see supra, at 11. When faced with a clash of constitutional principle and a line of unreasoned cases wholly divorced from the text, history, and structure of our founding document, we should not hesitate to resolve the tension in favor of the Constitution’s original meaning. For the reasons I have given, and for the reasons given in Justice O’Connor’s dissent, the conflict of principle raised by this boundless use of the eminent domain power should be resolved in petitioners’ favor. I would reverse the judgment of the Connecticut Supreme Court.”
And what is the fundamental rule regarding the meaning of words and phrases in our Constitution?
“Words or terms used in a constitution, being dependent on ratification by the people voting upon it, must be understood in the sense most obvious to the common understanding at the time of its adoption… (my emphasis), see: 16 Am Jur 2d Constitutional law, Meaning of Language
The bottom line is, Justice Stevens used his office of public trust to usurp legislative power under Article V, and imposed his personal feelings of what our Constitution should mean.
"The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice." – Justice Hugo L. Black ( U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1886 - 1971) Source: Lecture, Columbia University, 1968
Even in death, couldnt help it.
RIP Judge Stevens.
Like the Earth itself, we all must pass away. But still, it’s heartbreaking and leaves you empty inside. I’ll pray for the family.
Rest In God’s arms John.
Actually Kelo was the correct decision.
The court allowed the state (each individual state) to define “public good” for itself.
Complies with two parts of the constitution. Part one that land shall not be taken without just compenstaiton. And states rights in allowing them to define “public good”.
He changed the meaning of “public use”, as found in our Constitution, to mean “public purpose” and went on to justify his judicial tyranny because of the “evolving needs of society”
If I remember right, in the opinion of the court, they left the definitions up to the state. They said the federal government has a definition of public use/public purpose, but the states are allowed to set their own definition.
THAT is the correct ruling.
And this line right here:
Petitioners’ proposal that the Court adopt a new bright-line rule that economic development does not qualify as a public use is supported by neither precedent nor logic.
The court went with presedent on the issue instead of changing it. Wasn’t Stevens . . . you need to look at a different court for who set the presedent.
“I cannot agree. If such “economic development” takings are for a “public use,” any taking is, and the Court has erased the Public Use Clause from our Constitution, as Justice O’Connor powerfully argues in dissent. Ante , at 1-2, 8-13. I do not believe that this Court can eliminate liberties expressly enumerated in the Constitution and therefore join her dissenting opinion. Regrettably, however, the Court’s error runs deeper than this. Today’s decision is simply the latest in a string of our cases construing the Public Use Clause to be a virtual nullity, without the slightest nod to its original meaning. In my view, the Public Use Clause, originally understood, is a meaningful limit on the government’s eminent domain power. Our cases have strayed from the Clause’s original meaning, and I would reconsider them.” ___ Justice Thomas’ dissent
And there you go right there in the desent. It’s NOT steven’s rulling. It was agreeing with presedent. So blaming stevens is incorrect in “changing” the meaning. It was changed before this ruling.