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Biden Admin Picks Up Where Trump Left Off and is Seizing Private Property for Border Wall

Patrick Carroll
April 27th, 2021
The Foundation for Economic Education
Comments (3)

This article was originally published by Patrick Carroll at The Foundation for Economic Education. 

Border Patrol agents and others stand next to a new stretch of border wall in Calexico, Calif., Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will later visit the new 30-foot-high border wall that is replacing a 2-mile stretch of older barriers between the U.S. and Mexico in Calexico. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

On January 20, President Biden issued a proclamation that the government would stop construction on the US-Mexico border wall for 60 days to determine whether land needed to be confiscated to continue the project. The 60 days came and went with no decision, and now a federal judge has handed down a court order giving the government the go-ahead to seize one family’s private land for the wall.

“The Cavazos family land is the target of one of 140 active cases that have continued under the Biden Administration,” the Texas Civil Rights Project said in a statement. “At least 114 of these cases have progressed since the President’s proclamation pause deadline on March 21, 2021.”

This puts the Cavazoses in a tough situation. As reported:

Jose ‘Fred’ Cavazos, the landowner, is 71-years-old and disabled but says the government is putting it on him to clear the land.

“I’m going to be left alone to take that barn down,” said Cavazos.

Another issue is that Cavazos makes part of his livelihood from renting land to tenants and the family worries that they will not be able to enter anymore.

The attorney for the family, Ricky Garza, was particularly dismayed. “Yesterday, we witnessed a betrayal of the Biden Administration’s commitment to end construction of the border wall,” he said. “In federal court, the President’s pause on border wall construction is meaningless without immediate action from the DOJ to dismiss these cases.”

Indeed, the fact that these cases are still going forward goes directly against what Biden had promised on the campaign trail. “There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration,” he said back in August. “What about the land confiscations?” he was asked. “End, end, end, stop, done, over,” he replied. “Not gonna do it. Withdraw the lawsuits. We’re out. We are not going to confiscate the land.”

The Cavazos family are only the latest victims of a long-running and pernicious legal doctrine: eminent domain.

The term traces back to the 17th-century legal philosopher Hugo Grotius who used the phrase dominium eminens, which is Latin for ‘supreme lordship.’ In his 1625 book On the Law of War and Peace, Grotius described the principle as follows:

“The property of subjects is under the eminent domain of the state, so that the state or he who acts for it may use and even alienate and destroy such property, not only in the case of extreme necessity…but for ends of public utility.” His only qualifier was that “when this is done, the state is bound to make good the loss to those who lose their property.”

In the US, eminent domain must satisfy three criteria specified by the Fifth Amendment:

  1. The taking must be for “public use”
  2. The state must pay “just compensation”
  3. The taking must follow due process of law

While James Madison tried to be vigilant in his wording of the Fifth Amendment to avoid giving the government too much power (specifically by using the term “public use” instead of public purpose, interest, or benefit), the ambiguity of the terms has unfortunately allowed the government to use this power in a wide range of cases.

Consider, for example, the phrase “just compensation.” The established legal precedent is to define just compensation as “fair market value,” which is what the property would likely sell for if it were currently on the market. The problem, of course, is that value is subjective. Individual owners, such as the Cavazos family, may have a strong personal attachment to their property, such that the supposed market value is not nearly enough to compensate them for their loss.

So how does the government account for the subjective values of the owner? Well, according to the Supreme Court, they simply don’t, because they know they can’t. As the Court wrote in United States v. 50 Acres of Land, “just compensation must be measured by an objective standard that disregards subjective values which are only of significance to an individual owner.”

The “public use” clause has also been interpreted rather loosely, even though Madison had hoped to avoid this very problem. In the early 2000s, for example, the city of New London, Connecticut wanted to use eminent domain to condemn a neighborhood and give it to a private developer as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan. The homeowners, including lead plaintiff Susette Kelo with her little pink house, argued that economic development by a private company didn’t constitute public use.

The case went to the Supreme Court in 2005, and in a 5-4 ruling the Court sided with the city on the grounds that the economic benefits and potential for increased tax revenue were sufficient justifications for calling the private development “public use.”

Suffice it to say, it was a very creative interpretation.

And just to add insult to injury, the development plans actually fell through after the land was bulldozed. The area remains an empty lot to this day.

Aside from the legal and moral issues, there are also economic problems with the practice of eminent domain. Chief among them is the fact that this policy tool allows governments to undermine the property rights of landowners.

The reason property rights are so crucial for economic well-being is that they provide predictability for the future. When people have secure property rights, they feel confident saving their resources and investing them in longer-term projects, because they know they will be able to reap the rewards at a later date. These investments lead to the creation of more capital, such as tools and machinery, which allows us to produce things more efficiently and thus leads to greater abundance.

When property rights are tenuous, however, people are reluctant to invest.

For example, say you want to build an addition to your house, perhaps to rent out the space or simply for your own enjoyment. The addition would take a considerable amount of time and money to build, but you’re quite sure it would be a net benefit for yourself and others if you were able to complete it.

Now imagine that politicians are thinking about taking your house using eminent domain. Even if they never follow through, the mere threat of losing your investment is probably enough to dissuade you from building the addition. Thus, you end up putting your resources toward other, less beneficial ends. In short, economic growth is curtailed.

The pivotal role that property rights play in the economy has also been highlighted in many studies. The Economic Freedom of the World Index, for example, has shown that countries with stronger property rights consistently outperform countries with weaker property rights on measures of well-being such as GDP per capita.

Though the US certainly has much stronger property rights than many other countries, eminent domain continues to be a pervasive problem. And sadly, landowners like the Cavazos family have little recourse if they are targeted. The state, after all, gets the final say.

I guess that’s why they call it “supreme lordship.”

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    Author: Patrick Carroll
    Date: April 27th, 2021

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    1. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      ATT Black Lives!

      Obama, Every Other Black Politician, Dr. Wilmur Leon, Garland Nixon,  Jamarl Thomas, Sean Blackmon and Jackie Lukemon Want You To Roll Up Your Sleeves and

      Take the Fatal Shots From Physicians Instead of Cops! 

      They Love You to Death ! 

      Kind of Reminicent of Black Slave Traders in Africa When You Look At It! 

      Andrea Iravani 

    2. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      The Pentagon is claiming that Russia attacked U.S. military in Syria with sonic weapons that the Pentagon claims gave troops flu like symptoms, ommitting the loud silent audio noises of sonic weapons attacks experienced by embassy employees in Cuba, referred to as Havana Syndrome, China, and other embassies. I am also a victim after illegal unconsented uninformed surgery at Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee performed on me through nasal cavaties and ears implanting micro-chips, sensors, RFIDs, or microphones, since it is difficult to detect, which reulted in immedate sleep deprivation, excruciatingly loud tinnitus, a sudden inability to be able to cry, and a sudden need for eye glasses, and an immediate end to menstruation, since I am convinced that they also stole my ovums while unconscious since “medical samples” are the second largest export from Wisconsin to Canada. 

      Immediately after my first cell phone was hacked in June of 2017, someone started attacking me with silent audio. My dog also heard it, because he would stare and bark at the cell tower. At first I thought that it was a protest taking place in the industrial park or near the highway behind the cell tower. It is evidently beamed to cell towers from a satellite, because I have heard it while in another town. It is evidently frequency specific to the devices illegally implanted in me. I started researching it after finding out that others did not hear it.

      The psychopaths at Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee refuse to confess that they have perpetrated these illegal sadistic experimentaion on me, on March 27, 2014, and revived me from a clinical state of death after I attempted suicide by taking a bottle of hydrocone prescribed for an impinged shoulder and a bottle of 5 milligram valium prescribed for anxiety. Three doses of narcan and an external heart defibulator was used on me. Ascension Health now owns Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee hospital previously owned by ex Florida governor Rick Scott as part of the Columbia Group and ex WI governor Tommy Thompson and Health and Human Services director Tommy Thompson is a primary investor in 
      Verichip which is also used by the “Humane Society” to install microchipa in pats. Thompson and Hillary Clinton thought that people should be microchipped.

      Right after my first phone was hacked in June of 2017, James Hurth that was a neurosurgeon, psychiatrist, and head of Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee Hospital Behavioral Health abruptly resigned and the CEO of WE Energies also abruptly resigned without explanation concurrently.

      I think that they are trying to see if they can control people, and also spy on people with these devices. They ask me to give posessions up, move, give up technology, none of which I have done and which I refuse to do. Since I was involved in the DNC as an events cooridinator and was a Sanders supporter and Hillary hater, I think that someone in politics or even both parties wanted to spy on me for that reason and see if they could control me with mind control. People started illegally entering my home even if I would take out the garbage or get mail. Neighbors behind and across the street from me have stolen things from my home and placed them in their windows. The military and others are experimenting on me with psy-ops. They even wear invisibility cloaks which they developed that reflect the view behind them. It is like a pliable computer screen. Now, just to get the mail, I have to place something in front of my door and walk backwards. New people moved in all around me except for on one side. It always has been a very transient neighborhoid which has turned into a hood of sadistic, white trash, serial criminal, psychopathic thugs. They used to stalk me when I would walk my dog that they killed with poison. Someone also hacked my smart meter in February of 2017, which made it read all letter ds and stary energy flew out of the light socket and laser split two coffee cups in half, one after the other. They also have fake mechanical dragon flies that fly around my yard in the summer, and fake birds that talk and asked me “Do you speak Portuguese” and “The Television is your biggest fear.” The psychos in invisibility cloaks would take metal objects and drag them against my metal fence at night, making loud clamging noises. They have locked my doors using directed energy magnetism beams to lock them so that it changes the lock settings so that they keys would not work. They have stolen many things and have vandalised causing thousands of dollars worth of damage during the most vulnerable time in my life after my Mother that also lived in the neighborhood passed away and even deprived me of grieving her loss as well as the loss of my dog and the loss of my brother. They are the most vile and wretched scum conceivable that should have been aborted rather than conceived for the good of humanity. It is 
      https://www.InfraGard and which they have enlisted many in the media to participate in as well. They use Vault7 hacking tools and have hacked into appliances, smart meters, lighting, heating, and cooling. They are sick as hell. They even hired a Siberian musician Einnfalt to write a song about me, Exhibit C God’s will for Andrea Iravani. I know damned well that it is not Russia that is behind this. It is the surveillance state, police state, and medical mafia. It is the MICIMATT
      Military Industrial Congressional Intelligence Media Academia Think Tanks. They are mentally incompetent, insane, evil, serial criminal, psychopaths. They are total losers. They are the scum of the earth that the world would be better off without! They are creating the hell that they and their descendants will be forced to live in and will end up being the victims of.

      Here is proof that Lockheed Martin has installed this technology in cell towers and that they terrorize American citizens:

      proof that these types of surgery have been performed by an anesthesiologist John R Hall MD Austin Texas on his website International Center Against the Abuse of Covert Technology

      Proof that organized community stalking by domestic terrorists is taking place

      I dedicate this song to the Low Life Terrorist Scum in InfraGard, the WHO, and the MICIMATT that have perpetrated an organized serial crime spree on me, my life, my family, and my property:

      Public Image Ltd.- Low Life – YouTube

      Andrea Iravani

    3. Darth Skippy says:

      As it turns out, ranchers just find dead bodies, on their land, as a matter of fact.


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