Taking back property rights
Kelo decision needs to be plowed under
Congress is taking steps to reverse a Supreme Court decision that turned a thriving middle-class community into a waterfront wasteland. It’s about time Kelo was knocked off-kilter.
On Tuesday, the House passed a bill aimed at mitigating the impact of the controversial 2005 Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London. The bipartisan measure was co-sponsored by political polar opposites Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, and Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat. It would withhold federal development aid to states or municipalities that seize private property solely for economic-development programs. It would bar federal takings for the same purpose and give property owners under threat of such takings the right to sue in federal court. This follows a 2006 executive order that restricted land grabs “for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.”
In Kelo, the high court sided 5-4 with New London, Conn., on the question of whether the city could use the eminent-domain power to seize 91 acres of privately owned waterfront property to hand over to a private developer. The takings clause of the Fifth Amendment states that private property shall not “be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The city argued that this taking would lead to 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues and thus fell under constitutionally approved “public use.” The Kelo case differed from other sequestration cases in that the property to be condemned, a neighborhood called Fort Trumbull, was a well-maintained middle-class community rather than a depressed slum. The “public use” was not a highway or a bridge but a redevelopment scheme the city government had decided would spruce up the town. >>>
Property is a pre-eminent American civil right. It should be violated only when a clear and compelling public interest is involved. It should never be cast aside based on unsupported notions that a given piece of property might be better used in some other way, particularly when the government is acting as the agent for a real estate developer. >>> There is no better illustration of the court’s flawed logic than the fate of Fort Trumbull. The promised benefits never materialized. The developer was unable to finance the promised new construction, and the area was left an overgrown waste. In the summer of 2011, following Hurricane Irene, the city designated it as a dump.
Hard to imagine Commie Waters on the right side of this issue. Remember how she wanted to "nationalize" the oil industry?
Guess it doesnt really matter. 'Ol purple lips will never sign it anyways .. even if it did get by Dingy Harry in that circus called the Senate.