Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is The Texas Chapter Of The Institute For Justice For Real?

There is this thing called the Institute for Justice. The Institute for Justice has a Texas Chapter, working out of Austin.

Supposedly the Institute for Justice fights to secure property rights, economic liberty, freedom of speech and school choice and to help Texas property owners in a range of property rights disputes, including eminent domain, annexation, zoning, special districts and citizen referendums.

There is a heavily reported case of eminent domain abuse and freedom of speech suppression here in the Tarrant County town of Fort Worth, Texas involving Steve Doeung and his fight against Chesapeake Energy and the City of Fort Worth, to try to keep his home from being taken via eminent domain.

When I say eminent domain is being used to attempt to take Steve Doeung's home, by home I mean the place where one feels safe and secure in the privacy of ones home. Steve Doeung believes, and with good reason, that a non-odorized natural gas pipeline running under his home is an unacceptable risk, thus it would compromise the quality of his home, taking it from Steve Doeung, really, no differently than if his home were forcibly taken.

Up til now Steve Doeung has been a Lone Ranger, for the most part. He is alone no longer. On Thursday the Carter Avenue Rescue Operation is holding a Rally at the Tarrant County Courthouse to Support Steve in his Battle for Life, Liberty and his Pursuit of Happiness.

Read Steve Doeung's account of what he and Don Young experienced in court when Steve was fighting alone.

Attempts have been made to enlist the help of the Institute of Justice, contacting the Executive Director of the Institute for Justic Texas Chapter, Matt Miller, to no avail.

If ever there was a case that warranted the attention of an entity calling itself the Institute for Justice, the Steve Doeung Eminent Domain Suppression of Free Speech Case would seem to be that case.

Does anyone out there know anything about the Institute for Justice? Is it legit? Have they been helping Billy Mitchell with his eminent domain abuse nightmare?

Is there not a single lawyer in the Eminent Domain Abuse Capital of the World, Tarrant County, Texas, willing to help Steve Doeung, pro bono? Just because it's the right thing to do?

Join the Carter Avenue Rescue Operation Cause on Facebook where you will be able to find details about Thursday's Fort Worth Support Rally.


Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I believe the Institute of Justice only takes on those cases they KNOW they can win. I don't believe they're really all about Justice being served. It looks like more to me they're more about collecting some money and getting notoriety for their involvement. I'm thinking I might have to do some research on WHAT cases they've actually given legal representation in. I wonder if the Institute for Justice has ever taken on Big Oil & Gas...I'm thinking...probably not.

Durango said...

Methinks your intuition about the Institute for Justice is likely correct. If it were truly an Institute for Justice it would be actively seeking to help the Steve Doeung's of Texas.

Chris said...

Regarding the Institute for Justice, I have been down that road before. They do not get involved in eminent domain disputes involving energy companies because the "public good" argument tends to favor energy or utility companies.

As Chris Grodecki of the Castle Coalition and Institute for Justice wrote to me in November of 2008:

"As you may know, we provide
resources for property owners threatened by eminent domain for private economic development. Situations that involve energy companies are bit more complicated because those companies are considered common carriers.
Because they are licensed by the government to provide services to the general public, their uses of eminent domain are very likely to be
considered as "public use" by the courts. We, unfortunately, do not get directly involved in situations that regard takings for "public use"; that's not a judgment, however, on the merits of your situation, which while fully legal, doesn't necessarily make it any less wrong."

Activate your grassroots! Educate yourself and talk to your neighbors. It does take stamina and patience, however, because you will have to "saddle your own horse." Compare notes with our experience: Spectra Energy

Anonymous said...

Let me get this right: the Institute for Justice only takes cases they can win and will not take cases involving energy companies because THEY HAVE DECIDED THAT THEY ARE UNBEATABLE. Either that claim is pretty absurd or this Steve on Carter guy's been doing some mighty impressive "lawyering" --esp. with being disabled and untrained in the law in any way. With this kind of attitude from self-proclaimed public interest firms fighting for justice and liberty, old Steve might just be better off fighting on his own --with "We the people" supporting him in any way possible. This kind of stuff is what gives lawyers and even the legal system a bad name and Shakespeare...nevermind.

Anonymous said...

One more thing: if the services to the "public good" provided by these oil and gas companies are so overwhelmingly helpfull to the American public and even the economy, then let Wal-mart and big trucking companies have the rights of eminent domain to take people's front yards to provide overnight stops so that they can drive safely in their work to provide cheaper consumer goods of all sorts and get the needed rest without having to find sparse and costly truck stops/motels. Besides, trucks idling overnight on people's front yards don't hardly ever blow up and destroy whole neighborhoods like a 16-24 inch natural gas lines do on a fairly regular intervals.