House to Vote on Bill to Overturn Supreme Court's Eminent Domain Decision

Monday, 27 Feb 2012 12:13 PM

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The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a measure that would overturn a controversial Supreme Court ruling that gave state and local governments more power to take private property under the legal principle of eminent domain. The 2005 Supreme Court ruling, Kelo v. City of New London, held that private property could be seized to further economic development, The Hill reported.

Under the Constitution, governments may seize private property for the public good but must provide compensation. The 2005 decision expanded the definition of when property could be seized for an economic development plan.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said, according to the Hill, that the Supreme Court “wrongly decided to broaden states' eminent domain power to allow governments to seize private property for economic development. Expanded eminent domain is an abject offense on Americans' basic freedom, and Congress must restore the basic constitutional protections of private property.

"All Americans should be able to trust that they have freedom from blatant governmental overreach. The federal government should not be able to utilize eminent domain to force private-to-private transfer of property."

Sensenbrenner’s bill, the Private Property Rights Protection Act, would prevent the practice.

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