Congress Votes to Reverse Eminent Domain Decision

Bill that would reverse the June 2005 Supreme Court decision giving local governments unprecedented ability to seize and redevelop property receives bipartisan support.

"Conservative defenders of private property and liberal protectors of the poor joined in an overwhelming House vote to prevent local and state governments from seizing homes and businesses for use in economic development projects. The House legislation, passed 376-38, was in response to a widely criticized 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court last June that allowed eminent domain authority to be used to obtain land for tax revenue-generating commercial purposes. That decision, said the House's third-ranked Republican, Deborah Pryce of Ohio, 'dealt a blow to the rights of property owners across the country.' The bill would withhold for two years all federal economic development funds from states and localities that use economic development as a rationale for property seizures. It also would bar the federal government from using eminent domain powers for economic development."

Full Story: House Vote Counters Eminent Domain Measure

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