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Kelo Needs Congressional Correction
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:46 pm | By Paul Petrick

Last month, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2011, H.R. 1433. This bill would suspend federal economic development funds for two years to any state or municipality that expropriates private property via eminent domain for a private purpose. H.R. 1433 enjoys the bipartisan support of Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) as well as more than two dozen other co-sponsors.

If enacted, this legislation would strike at the heart of the 2005 Supreme Court decision Kelo v. City of New London. This ruling allowed government entities to expropriate private property at the behest of another private interest for the sole purpose of increasing their jurisdiction’s tax base. H.R. 1433 will allow private citizens to legally defend their private property from confiscatory state and local governments.

Since 2005, more than forty states have independently passed legislation to limit their power of eminent domain and the Supreme Courts of Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio have barred the practice under their state constitutions. This bill provides all American citizens with the means to protect their private property from an increasingly broad definition of “public use.”

H.R. 1433 is currently awaiting a vote before the full House. Congressional action to correct the abusive use of eminent domain is a necessity at a time when government continues to permit these egregious takings. Although many states have already acted, Congress must play a pivotal role in reforming the use and abuse of eminent domain. Economists such as Hernando De Soto have confirmed that strong property rights protections are the prologue to prosperity. As Americans continue to suffer from a stagnant economy, policy makers should not pass up an opportunity to augment output.

Tags: EmDom Federal | Permalink | Comments

Eminent domain, uhtogh seemingly very important in discharge of state's duties, is a preposterous idea that destroys civil liberty and human dignity.Imposing buildings and swanky neighborhoods do not contribute to growth of human excellence or to the level of morals. Economics under any disguise is inimical to equity and state's obsession with it is relegation of justice to insignificance.India had the misfortune of having its Constitution maimed right in the beginning to incorporate eminent domain as Ninth Schedule. Consequently, in barely six decades creatures of the Ninth Schedule have robbed the Republic of truthfulness, honesty and conscientiousness as social virtues. We seem to have hit the dead end as the three organs of the state are powerless to undo the damage.The choice is simple, a people may either have great cities with breath taking skylines or be blessed with noble souls who redefine the grandeur of human spirit , giving mankind new role models. Eminent domain, sadly, does not promote eminence among ordinary folks and can not enrich the spirit of the eminent.
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This is starting to brdoer on pure elitisme2€a6 e2€œThe individual cannot know whate2€™s best for their own property, so we must step in.e2€?To clarify, I don't believe the state has some super consciousness that gives it the ability to know better what to do with property. I instigated this discussion with a strong critique of eminent domain and qualified that I think there are some cases where it is justified. When you say that there is no case where it is justified you have the stronger burden of proof. If my example about roads isn't good enough, how about eminent domain for power lines, radio antennas or above ground cabling? Surely in the information age, these are salient issues that will face us in the coming decades.We can choose to route all these public services around private land, thereby running up the cost and complexity, or we can do with less service. The other choice is to let the state be a thug and take the land via eminent domain and try to give a fair price for it. There is no ideal solution here, but I think if eminent domain is used sparingly it is okay, but then I'm probably an elitist*.* An elitist who petitions for the poor, likes public transportation and digs marxism. Yep, that's me. ;)
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