McMorris Applauds Passage of the Private Property Rights Protection Act

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today hailed the passage of H.R. 4128 The Private Property Right Protection Act by the House of Representatives. McMorris is a co-sponsor of this bill that aims at defending private property rights in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kelo v. City of New London.

“Private ownership of property is vital to both our freedom and our prosperity,” said McMorris. “People in Eastern Washington should be confident in knowing that the government will not come and seize their property or farm land. Legislation is needed to correct this decision and restore the principle of having limited government involvement.”

The Private Property Protection Act enhances the penalty for states and localities that abuse their eminent domain power by denying them all federal economic development funds for a period of two years. States of localities that abuse their eminent domain power justified by “economic development” should not be trusted with federal economic development funding.

In Kelo v. City of New London, decided June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the city's condemnation of private property, to implement its area redevelopment plan aimed at invigorating a depressed economy, was a "public use" satisfying the U.S. Constitution – even though the property might be turned over to private developers. The majority opinion was grounded on Supreme Court decisions holding that "public use" must be read broadly to mean "for a public purpose."

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