Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Friday, July 01, 2005

CRAIG SAYS NO TO PROPERTY GRAB

Cosponsors bill to undermine Supreme Court’s recent eminent domain decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senator Larry Craig joined a number of his colleagues today, including the rest of the Idaho Congressional Delegation, in cosponsoring legislation to protect citizens from some federal land grabs.

Last week the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Kelo v. City of New London Connecticut in which it significantly expanded the power of governments to seize private property. Idaho Senator Larry Craig is disturbed by the decision, offering the following commentary, “The Supreme Court has seriously weakened the Constitutional protection of private property rights. Allowing the eminent domain power to be used for private to private transfers for nothing more than economic development effectively eliminates that portion of the Fifth Amendment. It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court came to such a conclusion that will have a dramatic impact on private property rights.”

In order to right the wrong, Craig joined the efforts of Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, who introduced S. 1313, the Protection of Homes, Small Business, and Private Property Act of 2005. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is also a cosponsor, and Idaho’s Congressmen cosponsored a similar measure in the House. The legislation dictates that the federal government cannot use eminent domain to seize property for purely economic development.

Since the legislation only applies to the federal government, Craig urged states to take similar action, “I urge all state legislatures to offer similar legislation to protect property owners against this erosion of the foundation of our way of life.”

The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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