House Intends to Change Eminent Domain Law

source: CBS News

WASHINGTON - House is seeking to pass a bill that would undercut a 2005 Supreme Court ruling that allows state and local governments authority to take over private property for the purpose of economic redevelopment.

Sponsors of the bill do not agree with the Kelo v. City of New London ruling which "justified the government's taking of private property and giving it to a private business for use in the interest of creating a more lucrative tax base" - according to Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Proposed changes include withholding of federal aid to states or locales that exercise the eminent domain power for redevelopment purposes. The bill also aims to disallow the federal government from using eminent domain for redevelopment, and allows those affected to take legal action if the rules are broken.

Maxine Waters of California, a liberal Democrat supports the bill, claiming the eminent domain power has been abused by powerful interest groups for long enough, all at expense of the little guy.

Law makers oppose the decision, criticizing the "dangerous interpretation of the taking clause" in the Constitution's 5th Amendment that lets government seize property for public use, with just compensation.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan also opposes the bill, pointing out that the states have done their own duties in amending eminent domain laws to prevent abuse and that Congress should not barge in and assume a "national zoning board" position. He also pointed out that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is except from eminent domain restrictions. The pipeline was rejected by President Barack Obama, however republicans have been backing its construction with vigor.

There is no indication as to the Senate's stance on this bill.

Article comments include several outbursts at the pipeline exemption, as well as support for both sides of the proposed bill.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:17 AM

    I've read the blog a couple of times.
    My family is going through eminent domain,
    and I was wondering if you could offer me some advice.
    I live in Anaheim, CA. First off, since it is a tourist area
    the city generates a lot of money, and spends it. There are
    several current projects that are $70+ millions.
    The city said that they will pay off the mortgage loan, their initial
    offer did not cover the loan because the market value has gone down.
    If my parents can qualify for a new loan it has to be on a $327,900 loan,
    and then they will recieve $6,900, no more. If they rent, it must be $1,800+ a month,and they will only get $4,000. They also won't co-operate with my parents if they have legal represention, my parents are not fluent in English.
    It all seems fishy to me, but I don't know how to get around any of it, we've never encountered this before. Also, I know what neighborhood is next on the
    chopping block and I feel that those families' have the right to know, but I don't know if I could face any legal problems if I tell them? It should be public knowledge, but it is not. I don't have any of the profile options below so I will post as anonymous.
    I'd really appreciate any advice you could offer.
    Thank you for your time.


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