Friday, February 02, 2007

The People Giveth ... and They Taketh Away

As expected, NYRI strikes back against the state law intended to remove its powers of eminent domain.

"It's unconstitutional for the legislature to pass a law that targets one person or company, or singles them out for different treatment," [power line project manager William] May said.

That may be true, and certainly is a good argument. . . . It might even persuade a court . . . But let's not lose sight of the forest by focusing on the trees.

The power of eminent domain is a government power
, not a private one. It must be used to promote the public interest. And this is what makes this matter different from the usual "violation of equal protection of laws" situation. NYRI only had the power of eminent domain because the legislature, at one time, gave it that power. Obviously, the legislature has changed its mind.

"The law seeks to punish NYRI for proposing a project that is intended to meet a public need," . . . May said.

No, the law seeks to prevent NYRI from creating a public harm.

While NYRI can argue that it is fulfilling a public need, it is the legislature's prerogative (not a private corporation's) to determine whether the exercise of its power will serve the public interest. It arguably could even be a violation of the separation of powers doctrine for a court to decide otherwise.

And when talking about what is or is not Constitutional, let's not lose sight of from where the Government gets Its power: WE THE PEOPLE.

While multinational corporations seem to be remaking laws world-wide to suit their liking, and while they seem to be aided and abetted by many elected and non-elected officials (maybe even at the highest legislative, executive and judicial branches in this country), ultimately, under our Constitution, the will of the people must prevail.

And when the government no longer derives its powers from the consent of the governed:
"it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . . "

1 comment:

Arkangel said...

STRIKESLIP: If it's a "fight" NYRI wants, then I am in it til the 15th round. I predict a knock-out punch to NYRI when it is all said and done.

I am sick and tired of Goliath thinking h"he" can take on David and win. WE, the people don't need a slingshot, hell, we got the internet and thousands of supporters who are willing to exchange legal briefs in opposition to the people's right of due process. Know doubt, there will be intervenors.

Incidentally, who are the "backers" behind NYRI or are they afraid to come out from under their "skirts?" Time will only tell who these so-called entrepreneurs are and the public exposes them for what and who they really are. GREED MONGERS!

Tim Julian is doing an excellent job in hiring outside counsel to protect the City's interest. Too, bad we do not have other politicians rallying alongside the City of Utica Mayor. I can tell you this, Time Julian has a lot of moxy AND for all the right reasons.

Oneida County residents...stand up and be counted. Share your displeasure against NYRI and let Mayor Julian know you appreciate his efforts in this matter.