WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla) has introduced legislation to defend Americans’ right to own and enjoy private property without the threat of federally funded eminent domain seizures. Inhofe’s ‘Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2006’ (S. 3873) proposes that in any state receiving federal funds for economic development where a locality within that state exercises its power of eminent domain for economic development purposes, then that state shall be ineligible for federal economic development funds for two fiscal years.
Senator Inhofe released the following statement upon introducing the bill:
“I believe in the right to own private property, and I believe in the right to enjoy it and not be harassed, especially by the government.
“There are three issues addressed by the ‘Private Property Protection Act of 2006’ that I will soon introduce. First, this legislation aims to protect the right to own and enjoy private property, one of our government’s core purposes. Second, the bill directly confronts the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut, which allows local governments to take private property for economic reasons. Finally, the bill forces the Court to reign in its incessant judicial activism, returning to the true intent of the Fifth Amendment. In sum, the bill limits government intervention into the private market.
“However, my bill does not attempt to encroach on a state’s right to conduct business and levy taxes; it simply makes clear that the national government will not fund these blatant abuses.”
Inhofe’s legislation mirrors the eminent domain legislation (H.R. 4128) introduced by Reps. Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), Conyers (D-Mich) and Waters (D-Calif) which passed the House of Representatives (376-38) last November.