“The House acted today to protect private property rights, a bold plan that enhances the penalty for states and localities that abuse their eminent domain power and defends the freedoms of private ownership,” said Blunt.
The Supreme Court’s narrow decision in Kelo v. New London called into question over two centuries of legal precedent and the individual property rights essential to our freedom and prosperity. That decision strikes at more than two centuries of American private property tradition guaranteed in the Constitution.
The Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005 will:
- Enhance the penalty for states and localities that abuse their eminent domain power by denying states or localities that commit such abuse all federal economic development funds for a period of two years;
- Make a clear connection between the federal funds that would be denied and the abuse Congress is seeking to prevent;
- Give states and localities the clear opportunity to cure any violation before they lose any federal economic development funds;
- Provide an express private right of action to make certain that those suffering injuries from a violation of the bill will be allowed access to state or federal court to enforce its provisions.
A similar measure, S.1313 sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary last June. The latest reported action was on September 20, 2005, when the committee held hearings.