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June 28, 2005
The Mark Twain Option

When I wrote about my reaction to the Kelo decision, I included a portion of a letter written by Mark Twain over 120 years ago that I felt spoke directly to the issue. After losing a copyright case that he clearly should have won, Twain wrote the following in a letter to a Massachusetts group seeking to honor him with an award:

It does look as if Massachusetts were in a fair way to embarrass me with kindnesses this year. In the first place, a Massachusetts judge has just decided in open court that a Boston publisher may sell, not only his own property in a free and unfettered way, but also may as freely sell property which does not belong to him but to me; property which he has not bought and which I have not sold. Under this ruling I am now advertising that judge's homestead for sale, and, if I make a good a sum out of it as I expect, I shall go on and sell out the rest of his property.

It now looks as if activists have taken Twain to heart. An investment group now seeks to build a hotel with a museum dedicated to documenting the decline of property rights in Weare, New Hampshire, the home of Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Actually, they want to build the hotel in place of the home of Supreme Court Justice David Souter:

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel [address redacted -- CE] than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Caf" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

People who want to see Justice Souter's land put to better use than single-family ownership can e-mail the city at this link. Tell them that you'd plan on spending a week in the town as tourists at the new hotel and museum complex. That should get them to give serious consideration to the Mark Twain option.

And, if we're successful, we can move on to Justice Kennedy's house next, as Twain himself might have suggested.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 28, 2005 4:23 PM

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» The Souter Incident from Objective Justice
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