By Dan WhitcombWed Jun 29, 4:10 PM ET
A California man, angry over a U.S. Supreme Court decision expanding government power to take private property, says he will try to use the ruling to seize the New Hampshire home of Justice David Souter and convert it into a hotel to be named the Lost Liberty Hotel.
Souter voted with the 5-4 majority last week when the Supreme Court ruled a Connecticut city could use its powers of eminent domain to take private homes to make way for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices.
The justices said the project served a public purpose of revitalizing a depressed local economy, but critics have called the ruling an unprecedented expansion of the powers of government to seize private property in America.
"This is a serious project and if we get enough money from investors we will proceed with it," said Logan Darrow Clements, who runs a California video production company called Freestar Media that he said is dedicated to exposing abuses of power.
"It's solely for the purpose of showing (Souter) that his decision was unjust," he said. "We hope to make a profit as well but I don't agree with eminent domain so the irony is that we are going to use eminent domain against him."
Clements said he had contacted officials in Weare, New Hampshire, for an application to build a hotel on the property where the Supreme Court justice's home now stands, arguing that a hotel would increase tax revenue and provide an economic boost.
He said the hotel would be called the Lost Liberty Hotel and would include a restaurant called the Just Desserts Cafe and a museum with a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America.
He said instead of a Gideon's Bible, each room would include a copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged," which many people embrace as a treatise on liberty and self-determination.
"This is not a prank," he said. "The town of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land (from Justice Souter) we can begin our hotel development."
The Supreme Court had no comment on Clements' plan and the Weare Board of Selectmen could not immediately be reached for comment.
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