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The Death of Real Property in America

This ruling isn’t too surprising, considering the Supreme Court’s decision on eminent domain in Kelo v. New London:

DOUGLAS, Ariz., Aug. 18 – Spent shells litter the ground at what is left of the firing range, and camouflage outfits still hang in a storeroom. Just a few months ago, this ranch was known as Camp Thunderbird, the headquarters of a paramilitary group that promised to use force to keep illegal immigrants from sneaking across the border with Mexico.

Now, in a turnabout, the 70-acre property about two miles from the border is being given to two immigrants whom the group caught trying to enter the United States illegally.

The land transfer is being made to satisfy judgments in a lawsuit in which the immigrants had said that Casey Nethercott, the owner of the ranch and a former leader of the vigilante group Ranch Rescue, had harmed them.

“Certainly it’s poetic justice that these undocumented workers own this land,” said Morris S. Dees Jr., co-founder and chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which represented the immigrants in their lawsuit.

Mr. Dees said the loss of the ranch would “send a pretty important message to those who come to the border to use violence.”

An important message, indeed: Americans no longer have the right to defend their property against people who enter the country illegally.

This is shocking. But to a nation immobilized by mindless debate over distractions like Cindy Sheehan, the message will likely slip into the memory hole unnoticed.

May our children and children’s children forgive us for letting slip through fingers too occupied with the TV remote to hold what our fathers bought with their blood.

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