Bill In House Will Cut Off Funds To State/Local Governments Who Use Eminent Domain

Discussion in 'Politics' started by GotZoom, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Charging that the Supreme Court undermined one of the pillars of American society, the House took up legislation Thursday to block court-sanctioned seizings of people's homes for use by private developers.

    The bill, headed toward easy passage with bipartisan support, would withhold federal funds from state and local governments that use powers of eminent domain to force homeowners to give up their property for commercial uses.

    The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling in June, recognized the power of local governments to seize property needed for private development projects that generate tax revenue. The decision drew criticism from a broad spectrum of private property, civil rights, farm and religious groups which said it was an abuse of the Fifth Amendment's 'takings clause' which provides for the taking of private property, with fair compensation, for public use.

    The ruling in Kelo v. City of New London allowed the Connecticut city to exercise state eminent domain law to require several homeowners to cede their property for commercial use.

    With this 'infamous' decision, said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., 'homes and small businesses across the country have been placed in grave jeopardy and threatened by the government wrecking ball.'

    'For a country founded on property rights, this is a terrible blow,' said the House's third-ranked Republican, Deborah Pryce of Ohio.

    The legislation is the latest, and most far-reaching, of several congressional responses to the court ruling. The House previously passed a measure to bar federal transportation funds from being used to make improvements on land seized for private development, and the Senate approved an amendment to a transportation spending bill applying similar restrictions.

    About half the states are also considering changes in their laws to prevent takings for private use.

    The bill before the House would cut off for two years all federal economic development funds to states and localities that use economic development as a rationale for a taking. It also bars the federal government from using eminent domain powers for economic development.

    'By subjecting all projects to penalties, we are removing a loophole that localities can exploit by playing a 'shell game' with projects,' said Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, a chief sponsor.

    Eminent domain, the right of government to take property for public use, is typically used for projects that benefit an entire community, such as highways, airports or schools.

    http://interestalert.com/story/site...eia&Fid=REPUBLIC&Type=News&Filter=Republicans
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    score one for the good guys
     
  3. deaddude
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    deaddude Senior Member

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    excellent, at least the Dems and Reps can agree on somthing.
     
  4. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    Not only do I like fighting back on the actual eminent domain issue, but I LOVE seeing the legislature giving it to the Supreme Court this way.

    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


    Good thread, Zoom.
     
  5. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    Bremerton, Washington, my previous city of residence, condemned the house of Lovie Nichols, an elderly widow who had lived there for 55 years. The City condemned the property for a sewer plant extension. However, Nichols refused to move and stayed in her home until the City evicted her two years later in order to transfer her property to a local car dealer.
     
  6. Max Power
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    Max Power Guest

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    While I do agree with the spirit of the law, this is the fed spitting on the 10th amendment (yet again, they do it about once a week these days).
     
  7. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I don't know, don't forget Amendment V.

    IMO, it's about time Congress did SOMETHING they're paid for.
    If there is a problem with the 10th, it'll be back at the supreme.
     
  8. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Not really. Congress is merely using its power in the tax and spend clause of Article I. Congress is not obligated to give them money. In fact, Id prefer they let the people keep that money to begin with, but I don't get a choice in the matter.
     
  9. Max Power
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    They are using their ability to tax and spend, to blackmail states into submission with laws/decisions that they have no business making.

    Amendment 10:
    I'm sorry, but 55mph speed limit, 21 year old drinking age, those are not powers delegated to the US by the Constitution, so they shouldn't simply be allowed to withhold money from states who do not abide by their decisions. Even if you agree with them, such as I do with this decision regarding eminent domain, withholding tax dollars is not the proper venue for forcing compliance.
     
  10. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Then what do you suggest they do? Spend the next 10 years ammending the Constitution while private citizens lose their homes for a pittance because the buyer pays more taxes? Right now, Congress is up against a wall. The people are crying foul, and because the Supreme Court has been grabbing more power almost since its inception, this is about the only thing that can be done. Or maybe you'd like them to pay you blue book price for YOUR house and then build a Wal-Mart.
     

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