On May 9, 2013, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced H.R. 1944, the Private Property Rights Protection Act, which would prevent the federal government or any authority of the federal government from using economic development as a justification for exercising its power of eminent domain. This bill would also discourage states and localities from abusing their eminent domain power by denying states or localities that commit such abuse all federal economic development funds for a period of two years. Today, it passed in the House of Representatives 353-65.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner: “As part of “Stop Government Abuse Week,” I am pleased that the House once again voted to protect Americans’ private property rights and curtail the abuse of eminent domain. While most Americans oppose the taking of private property for private uses, in Kelo v. City of New London, the Supreme Court ruled that “economic development” can be a “public use” under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause – giving the government the authority to transfer property from individuals with fewer resources to those with more. This disproportionately affects the poor, churches, religious institutions, non-profitorganizations and farmers. The Private Property Rights Protection Act would rightfully restore the rights the Supreme Court took away.”

(Click image to view Congressman Sensenbrenner’s remarks on the House floor prior to passage of the bill.)