As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, Barack Obama has expressed at least rhetorically strong support for constitutional property rights. On the other hand, it is striking that - as far as I know - Obama has never said anything about the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London, by far the best known and most widely criticized of the Court's recent property rights decisions. Obama's apparent silence is all the more notable in light of the fact that the decision was harshly criticized by numerous other liberal politicians and activists, including Bill Clinton, Ralph Nader, Maxine Waters, and Howard Dean (See Part I of this article for the relevant cites). Many African-American leaders were particularly critical, because as the NAACP emphasized in its excellent amicus brief in the case, "blight" and "economic development" takings often target the property of the minority poor.
If Obama has indeed been silent on Kelo, that may be an indication that his true level of support for constitutional property rights is actually quite weak. After all, if he's not willing to oppose an anti-property rights decision widely reviled by other liberals, it's doubtful that he would ever support property rights in other, more controversial contexts. Silence could even indicate that he actually agrees with the Court's decision but does not want to say so for fear of angering public opinion.
My searches of the Westlaw and Lexis databases, as well as Obama's campaign website, don't reveal any statements on Kelo one way or the other. However, it's possible that I have missed something in my research. If any of our readers have spotted an Obama statement on Kelo that I might have overlooked, please let me know.
Related Posts (on one page):
- Why Obama's Position on Kelo Matters - Even if he Doesn't Have One:
- Barack Obama and Constitutional Property Rights II - Obama's Apparent Silence about Kelo:
- Barack Obama and Constitutional Property Rights: