Crowdfunding legal challenge by a Texas family whose farm was stolen by Keystone XL


If you want further incentive, it will likely piss off hateful person and Senator John Cornyn.


Wait a second… Kelo v. City of New London went all the way to the supreme court (and attracted widespread outrage); but in Texas you can just tick a box to obtain private eminent domain powers?

That’s an order of magnitude more fucked up, I’m surprised that it doesn’t generate more horror stories.


If a private entity can simply use one page to get the property via eminent domain… why don’t they just fill out the form themselves and take it back through eminent domain? Or even better, get some sympathetic corporations to file as common carriers and have them seize the land of any judges involved who refused to give back her family land, also the land of Messrs Cornyn and Hutchinson? I think that might get the state to reign in the eminent domain power a bit then.

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I think you might be assuming that the law here in Texas actually works in some rational way. You really might want to rethink that one.


Actually, Kelo said that the local governments, not encumbered by state laws to the contrary, may use an expansive definition of public use to justify eminent domain.

I suppose this is the sort of opinion meant to encourage people to pay attention to local government and elect the sort that reflects their political concerns.

Still, if the government is captive to special interests that are not your own, it can be galling.

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If they’re running a “common carrier” over her land. . . can she not demand a toll, of, say, 1% of the value of the material transiting her property ?

Years ago, a gas line from a well transited my property: I got land rent for it, free, unlimited natural gas. . .

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I think you might be assuming that the law here in Texas actually works in some rational way.

There. Fixed.

Gee, I expected that such a “property rights” story would be mobbed by posts by angry supportive Libertarians, but then I remembered that in this case it’s elite business (their good guys) vs. Regular Jane, and that neoliberals are hypocrites.

Google: “keystone xl tesas eminent domain julia crawford REASON” = nothing.
Google: “keystone xl tesas eminent domain julia crawford HERITAGE” = nothing.
Google “keystone xl tesas eminent domain julia crawford CATO” = nothing…

That’s “Texas” but Boing Boing is hanging up…


Julia Trigg Crawford is a 6’0” former star basketball player for Texas A&M – the Governor’s alma mater.

Who gives a flip about that? Do these people think playing a game in school and being tall are some sort of qualification?

On to it:
The common carrier bit is the real issue. The Keystone XL does not offer goods or services to the public. Oil refining and processing is not a public function. It is performed by private parties with proceeds going to private parties like Koch Industries.

Since this is an entirely private affair (the pipeline never received federal approval) it should not have the power of imminent domain.

I thought you could just shoot people for this kind of behavior in Texas? Seems like a clear case of dispossession of property through “force, threat, or fraud” which is valid justification for killing people under Texas law (at least according to this site).

Actually, volokh has some stuff on it

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Given the long history of expertise in operational security and corporate risk management (I think those are the correct euphemisms for ‘whatever combination of mercenaries and regulatory-captured government provided death squads is cheapest and most effective’) that extraction industries have built up in their work in assorted ghastly parts of the world, your average petroleum company almost certainly deserves the shooting; but should be approached with extreme caution.


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