Justice Souter's Farmhouse Spared From Eminent Domain

March 15, 2006

Activists angered by Justice Souter's vote in favor of robust eminent domain powers in last year's Kelo v. New London have lost their bid to seize his New Hampshire farmhouse:

In a largely symbolic gesture, voters in Supreme Court Justice David Souter's hometown on Tuesday rejected a proposal to seize his 200-year-old farmhouse as payback for a ruling that expanded government's authority to take property. . . .
Originally, the ballot measure called for the seizure of Souter's home so that it could be turned into an inn called the Lost Liberty Hotel. But at a town meeting in February, residents of this town of 8,500 watered down the language. Voters decided 1,167 to 493 in favor of the reworded measure that asked the Board of Selectmen not to use their power of eminent domain to take the farmhouse, and instead urged New Hampshire to adopt a law that forbids seizures of the sort sanctioned by the Supreme Court.