In ... the eminent domain case that became the term's most controversial decision, he said that his majority opinion that upheld the government's "taking" of private homes for a commercial development in New London, Conn., brought about a result "entirely divorced from my judgment concerning the wisdom of the program" that was under constitutional attack.Of course, you understand, that a judge who talks like this — Scalia does it too — is really bragging about how principled he is.
His own view, Justice Stevens told the Clark County Bar Association, was that "the free play of market forces is more likely to produce acceptable results in the long run than the best-intentioned plans of public officials." But he said that the planned development fit the definition of "public use" that, in his view, the Constitution permitted for the exercise of eminent domain.
IN THE COMMENTS: A reader chides Linda Greenhouse for writing, in the linked article, "Justice Stevens is the only member of the court to have addressed the issue in a speech" — when in fact, as I noted in the original post, Justice Scalia makes this point in his standard speech. In fact, it's an awfully obvious, clichéd observation for a judge to make. And, as I noted in the original post, it's essentially a brag. It's also a handy defense to critics. What a terrible decision! the critics exclaim. The judge's eternal answer is: I was forced to do what the law requires.