PLAINFIELD, N.H. (AP) — Libertarians upset about a Supreme Court ruling on land taking have proposed seizing a justice’s vacation home and turning it into a park, echoing efforts aimed at another justice who lives in the state.
Organizers are trying to collect enough signatures to go before the town next spring to ask to use Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s 167-acre Plainfield property for a “Constitution Park” with stone monuments to commemorate the U.S. and New Hampshire constitutions.
“In the spirit of the ruling, we’re recreating the same use of eminent domain,” said John Babiarz, the Libertarian Party’s state chairman.
The plot mirrors the party’s ongoing effort to get the town of Weare, about 45 miles to the southeast, to seize Justice David H. Souter’s home. Justice Souter’s property is also the focus of a proposal by a California man who suggested the town turn the farmhouse into a “Lost Liberty Hotel.”
The efforts are meant in protest of the high court’s June ruling that let a Connecticut city take land by eminent domain and turn it over to a private developer. Justices Breyer and Souter supported the decision.
Through a spokesman, Justice Breyer declined to comment on the matter yesterday. Justice Souter has also declined comment.
Plainfield Town Administrator Steve Halleran said he didn’t expect Plainfield voters to support the Breyer effort, but Logan Darrow Clements, of Los Angeles, said he has gotten support from thousands of people across the country for his Souter plan, and the town clerk in Weare said she had to return checks from people wishing to donate to a hotel construction fund.
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 court ruling lets officials in New London, Conn., take older homes along the city’s waterfront for a private developer who plans to build offices, a hotel and a convention center.