Souter's home an activist target
Protesting eminent domain decision, group wants justice evicted
From David de Sola
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Peeved by the Supreme Court's decision to support the government seizure of private land for development, a group of activists is trying to get Justice David Souter evicted from his New Hampshire home under the eminent domain law.
The group says that Souter's home should be razed and the land set aside for the "Lost Liberty Hotel."
Led by Californian Logan Darrow Clements, Freestar Media already has the minimum 25 signatures it needs to put the issue on the ballot in Weare, New Hampshire's next town meeting, scheduled for March.
A small group of activists arrived in Weare this weekend to try to gather more signatures and rally support. The group's Web site encourages the masses to visit Weare, where there currently are no hotels.
"Make a vacation of it. New Hampshire offers great options for the whole family: skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, throwing snowballs at rotten politicians," the Web site states.
Kathy Arberg, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Supreme Court, declined to comment on the petition.
In the Supreme Court case Kelo vs. New London, Souter sided with the 5-4 majority but did not write the opinion.
Susette Kelo and six other families brought the case against the city of New London, Connecticut, demanding the courts stop the municipality from condemning their land as part of a redevelopment project. The project was a $270 million global research facility spearheaded by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
New Hampshire state Rep. Neal Kurk said he supports limitations to the eminent domain law but that he doesn't believe the group can succeed in its quest to have Souter kicked out of his home.
"The idea we would take somebody's property to put up an inn is laughable," said Kurk, a Republican who has represented Weare in the state Legislature for more than 20 years.
Kurk added that the town council will likely frown on a Californian bringing the issue to the agenda.
Souter is a longtime resident of the town and "as honorable a man as one could find in America," Kurk said. (View justice profiles)
"If folks don't like his interpretations, we are free to amend the Constitution," he said. "Nobody here thinks you should take a person's property because you disagree with his judicial opinions."
But that is exactly what Freestar Media wants to do, and a message on its Web site makes that clear.
"We need to send a strong message to all politicians -- stop stealing our property or YOU will be on the receiving end of the eminent domain steamroller."
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