House Passes Act to Undo Supreme Court’s Kelo Ruling Which Allows Use of Eminent Domain For Private Development

Susette Kelo, Little Pink House

The U.S. House took a stand for private property rights Wednesday when it addressed the issues from a controversial 2004 Supreme Court ruling that gives broad powers to seize private property.

One writer, at least, cautions against premature celebration.

Rick Moran at the blog American Thinker reported the House’s passage of HR 1689, the Private Property Rights Protection Act.

American Thinker quotes Ed Morrissey at Hot Air who said no major media outlets covered this issue regarding the rights of citizens to be secure in their property.

“It might not have gone far even now had it not been for renewed interest in the case from the recent independent film Little Pink House, starring Catherine Keener as Susette Kelo and Jeanne Tripplehorn and produced by Ted Balaker, formerly of Reason,” Morrissey said.

Moran said eminent domain is justified in many cases where the public good would be served. However, “The argument isn’t if states and local governments have the right to invoke eminent domain, but rather the overly broad justification used by the court to allow a private developer to seize someone else’s property.

“In Kelo, only a few private developers benefited,” Moran continued. “That the court deliberately weakened private property rights has been a stain on its reputation to uphold our most precious constitutional rights.”

Ilya Somin at Reason reported the new act “would withhold, for two years, federal ‘economic development’ funds to any state and local governments that use eminent domain to take property for private “economic development.”

Somin said it is too early to celebrate. The act has passed the House but failed in the Senate four times. Kelo draws less attention now than after the 2004 ruling as well, Somin said. Somin also questions whether President Donald Trump would veto the act if it were passed by the Senate.







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