Seizing, Sharing—Just Gimme

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has discovered that there is quite a bit of medical equipment (ventilators, for instance) scattered around the State that is going unused. He intends to…take control of…that equipment and “reallocate” it and is issuing an Executive Order to facilitate the process.

A reporter asked him whether he was serious about the matter and really was going to seize the equipment. Cuomo objected.

“First of all, don’t use the word ‘seize.’ I didn’t use that word. It’s a harsh kind of word,” Cuomo said….
“It’s a sharing of resources[.]”

Right. And Willy Sutton was only insisting that the banks share resources.

In truth, though, the State does have, under our Constitution’s Takings Clause of and Supreme Court rulings, authority to take the property, given just compensation is made. Cuomo intends that, although what he’ll offer is an open question.

Within all of that, it’s just stupid to quibble over the label applied to the taking. Government snatches, often for an agreed good cause; pays something for it; and it’s done. The quibble is just Cuomo’s CYA effort, made the more silly by the lack of need for it in the present circumstance.

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