November 21, 2005

Susette Kelo, still at the old homestead.

She lost her Supreme Court case, but life goes on just the same as before:
[W]ary of public disapproval and challenges from groups like the Institute for Justice, the law firm that represented the holdouts in court, the state and the city have halted plans to evict the remaining residents. Investors are concerned about building on land that some people consider a symbol of property rights. At the same time, contract disputes and financial uncertainty have delayed construction even in areas that have been cleared.

With so many complications, some people are unsure whether the city's initial vision for the property - a mix of housing, hotel and office space intended to transform part of its riverfront and bolster a declining tax base - is even realistic anymore.
A nice lesson in what we at the Wisconsin Law School love to call "law in action."

Can you think of some other examples, in law or elsewhere, where the loser, losing conspicuously, took on some golden glow that served his interests better than winning?

And I love the line: "Investors are concerned about building on land that some people consider a symbol of property rights." Sounds like in the movies when something is built over an old Indian burial ground.

27 comments:

Simon Kenton said...

Colorado has a make-my-day law because some prosecutors confused the state with California and Massachusetts.

Nick said...

Anyone else reminded of Milwaukee's now blown to bits Park East freeway? Or how about that lonely stretch of 41 north of the stadium? And those were actually for PUBLIC use.

PD Shaw said...

Not quite apropos, but I have a picture in my office of a law school friend and myself with our feat dangling off the uncompleted Overton Park interstate. (Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402 (1971)) The citizens in that case were never able to deal the death blow to the highway project, but the court case, requiring more study, review and public hearings, exhausted the project. There is still a half-completed cloverleaf that rises precariously over the highway below.

Troy said...

The Chicago Cubs and Clay Aiken come to mind.

I think Texas is doing all right -- all that legal sodomy notwithstanding.

Matt Ailey said...

Hester Prynne.

Though she loses, she still has an aura of respectability about her.
As far as suiting her better than winning, I'm not so sure, but it's still a nice story.

PatCA said...

Michael Newdow! He lost his case but found a celebrity career as God-Stalker.

Mark the Pundit said...

Several notable losers get good advertising deals:

1. Bob Dole gets deals pitching Viagra and Pepsi.

2. The Buffalo Bills were featured in a clever Snickers ad trying to think of a way to win a Super Bowl

YAMB said...

Clarence Darrow lost the Scopes Monkey Trial.

Knemon said...

"Can you think of some other examples, in law or elsewhere, where the loser, losing conspicuously, took on some golden glow that served his interests better than winning?"

You mean besides Bush v Gore?

Edmund said...

Can you think of some other examples, in law or elsewhere, where the loser, losing conspicuously, took on some golden glow that served his interests better than winning?

Japan?

rafinlay said...

Can you think of some other examples, in law or elsewhere, where the loser, losing conspicuously, took on some golden glow that served his interests better than winning?

Clarence Darrow?

I suppose the religiously inclined might think of a certain crucifixion...

reader_iam said...

Jimmy Carter?--at least in some quarters ...

Then you've the reverse, people who "won" but are forever tainted--Justice Thomas comes to mind.

jeff said...

Did Darrow lose? I thought when it came to the Scopes Monkey Trial, Darrow won the battle - but the evolutionists seem to have won the war (not counting the ID/Creationist insurgents).

Richard Fagin said...

Barry Goldwater

rafinlay said...

Probably I should look it up, but my recollection is that Darrow argued for Scopes (evolution) and lost, while Bryan argued for the State (Creation) and won the case, but Darrow won in public opinion. If I am correct, then Darrow is a great example of this meme.

Not as good as Goldwater, though...

Pogo said...

Wm. F. Buckley lost the New York mayoral race to Lindsay in 1964, but won the larger goal he desired when his ideas found fruition in the Reagan election.

To be fair, he entered the race knowing he would lose, and even intending to lose, as he rather intended his candidacy to point out how both the GOP and Dems in New York were both wholly liberal in practice.

Performing Bear said...

I never really understood Law in Action but I suppose it simply means activist lawyering. Sue folks to change things. O.K., I'm down with that. But when the judges respond --with adjudicatin' in action-- our hearts yearn for less action and more law.

I never got anything good out of losing except paid.

Richard Fagin said...

Hubert Humphrey (1968). Scopes was in fact convicted, but the ridicule heaped on Bryan as a result of his testimony enshrined Darrow as the real victor.

gs said...

Abraham Lincoln failed to defeat Stephen Douglas for reelection as Senator from Illinois in 1858-9. However, the Lincoln-Douglas debates enhanced Lincoln's political stature and he was elected President in 1860, defeating Douglas.

A peripheral example: Rudolph Giuliani was favored to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2000 race for the NY Senate seat. He withdrew because of ill health and remained mayor of NYC. His performance after 9/11 so enhanced his national reputation that he became a plausible Republican presidential contender.

Ann Althouse said...

Performing Bear: That's not at all what "Law in Action" means. Read the explanation at the link I provided.

Jacques Cuze said...

Can you think of some other examples, in law or elsewhere, where the loser, losing conspicuously, took on some golden glow that served his interests better than winning?

Osama bin Laden.

He lost Afghanistan, but is apparently stronger than ever. Instead of having training camps in Afghanistan, he now has all of Iraq to train his army and to inflict actual harm against his sworn enemy (us.)

Though he lost Afghanistan, we left Saudi Arabia, just as he wanted.

Though he lost Afghanistan, we have significantly struck at our own civil liberties that he hated so much.

Though he lost Afghanistan, and his Taliban Allies, he has seen the rise in our own American Taliban, and the diminishing of our American experiment in respect for all and no religions. And the increasing endorsement by government of religious acts.

While he used to have to payroll his operations through his $50M legacy, we now payroll his marketing campaign to the tune of $300B since 3/2003.

And whereas after 9/11 he was uniformly hated across much of the globe, we are now uniformly hated across much of the globe and 40% of the Iraqi people believe that it is okay for US soldiers to be injured and killed.

So yeah, Osama bin Forgotten....

Jacques Cuze said...

Intriguingly, btw, the US in Vietnam. We lost the war in 75, but by 1995, we had mostly won the economic system.

It's still a repressive system mind you, but check who is making your clothes and shoes and coffee.

And apparently, is the new tourist hotspot.

Pat Patterson said...

George Washington, all he had to do was win the right battle, he lost most of the others.

gs said...

Adolf Hitler. Winston Churchill. Mao Tse-tung. William Shatner et al. Lee Iacocca. Deng Hsiao-ping. Ivana Trump. Steve Jobs. Hillary Clinton. Sonia Gandhi. Daniel Drezner.

There are those who whose reputations were magnified after defeat even though they did not personally recoup their losses. Hatshepsut. Julius Caesar. Mark Antony and Cleopatra. William Wallace. Galileo. Thomas More (and Thomas Becket). Mary, Queen of Scots. Otto von Bismarck. Robert Oppenheimer. Che Guevara.

Among the world's unheralded 'losers', there are always risk takers who get on the boat to a fresh start--and succeed.

tcd said...

F*ck you quxxo!
Spoken like a true lefty hippie. Doesn't matter that the Vietnamese people are still living under a murderous communist regime as long as hippie f*cks like you can have another vacation destination. Is that the reason why you and your fellow hippies protested the war then as now in Iraq?

Jacques Cuze said...

Hey shit-for-brains tcd, I think that it is horrible and terrible that Vietnam has a repressive government.

I didn't endorse Vietnam, only your stupid thuglican brain thinks I am doing that.

In fact, I believe that it is a tribute to capitalism that capitalism saved Vietnam in the long run, and Vietnam is perhaps the best example today of a former soviet satellite, repressive system truly reforming their economy and lightening their system.

gt said...

I wonder how Van Orden is doing these days, the homeless texas lawyer who brought the 10 commandments case. I remain convinced that he was right and the court was wrong.
- arbitrary aardvark
http://vark.blogspot.com