Skip to comments.House votes to overturn Supreme Court decision on eminent domain (Mad Maxine is for it)
Posted on 02/29/2012 5:36:55 PM PST by Libloather
House votes to overturn Supreme Court decision on eminent domain
By Pete Kasperowicz - 02/28/12 05:19 PM ET
The House on Tuesday afternoon approved legislation that overturns a 2005 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the ability of states to take control of private property under the doctrine of eminent domain and hand it to another private developer.
That decision, Kelo v. City of New London, led to sharp complaints in particular from Republicans, who argued that the Court ignored the normal "public use" standard. Under that standard, eminent domain was seen as permissible only when the land or property taken would be retooled for public use.
But in the Kelo case, the city took non-blighted private property and gave it to a property developer, a move many said was a bid to expand the city's tax revenues, and one that could erode private property protections.
The Private Property Rights Protection act, H.R. 1443, would prevent states from using eminent domain over property to be used for economic development, and establish a private right of action for property owners if a state or local government violates the new rule. It would also limit federal funds to states in which property is taken in violation of the law.
House Republicans brought up the bill under a suspension of House rules, and after a brief debate, members passed it by voice vote. In addition to chief sponsor Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) spoke in favor of the bill, as did two Democrats, Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).
Waters co-sponsored the bill with Sensenbrenner, and both members noted that this rare alliance alone should prompt members to support the bill.
"This is a Sensenbrenner-Waters bill," Sensenbrenner said. "You will never see another Sensenbrenner-Waters bill, and that is probably one of the best reasons to vote in favor of it."
Waters said her support for the bill comes in part from the idea that poor people and minorities stand the most to lose from the Supreme Court's ruling.
"The government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more," she said. "The founders cannot have intended this perverse result."
Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) was the only member to speak against the bill. He argued that it has been seven years since the Kelo decision, and that many states have adjusted their own eminent domain laws in reaction.
"Congress should not now come charging in after seven years of work and presume to sit as a national zoning board, advocating to our national government the right to decide which states have gotten the balance right, and deciding which project are or are not appropriate," he said.
But support for the bill was never in doubt, in particular because similar legislation has already passed the House in years past. In 2009, for example, a bill from Sensenbrenner passed the House in a 376-38 vote.
Despite House passage, the White House did not put out any statement of support or opposition, as it often does just before major bills are brought up for a vote. House approval sends the bill to the Senate, which has not said publicly whether it would consider it.
Even the longest journey begins with the first step.
GW Bush lost me when he failed to lead this charge.
Even the Mad Max is against that SCOTUS decision. Wow, it is a leap year isn’t it.
I didn’t know the Congress could overturn a decision on the Constitution by the Supreme Court. I guess we learn something new every day.
If they can overturn a decision by the Supreme Court you would think they could overturn Recess appointmenst made by the President,. but they haven’t yet.
I agree with,,,, Maxine Waters? Yikes, I need a drink!
However, Lee said that she would apply the concept to Mars.
Too funny! It's probably DOA in the Senate like everything else in the House of Hoodlum Harry.
Interesting. Thanks for posting.
Notably, the properties taken from Kelo and her neighbors has not been developed, and sits idle, off the tax rolls.
The Institute for Justice is leading the fight against eminent domain and other abuses by the government. It’s a great organization to support, Freepers.
I'm not surprised that Conyers, the dimwit, runs off at the mouth about zoning. The right to property is one of the Constitutional pillars.
It's not a question of which should prevail arbitrary zoning rights or individual Constitutional rights. Zoning loses.
I do hope the new legislation makes it crystal clear that enhanced revenue to any government is not a "public good" such as highways, roads, police stations, libraries etc.
Raising the question of multiple entities being able to do so.
Supreme Court decisions cannot be nullified by other parts of government.
If no entity can overturn the USSC then the USSC is not co-equal with the other branches but superior to them; a dangerous precipice to place liberty upon.
However, if the Supreme Court strikes down a federal law, Congress can always modify the law until it is such that the Supreme Court does not consider it to violate the Constitution, then pass it again.
What if the USSC is violating a federal law itself? Notably the Conspiracy Against Rights and Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law felonies, which make no exceptions in applicability to government agents?
Supreme Court decisions can only be overturned in two ways:
1 -- Legitimate Methods
* That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government... [Declaration of Independence]
2 -- Illegitimate Methods (Passive Resistance)
And then there's active resistance...
Yes, pretty well covers it.