CHAMBLISS EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT OVER SUPREME COURT RULING ON EMINENT DOMAIN
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today issued the following statement relative to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling that local governments may take people's homes and businesses and turn them over to private developers.
"I am deeply disturbed by the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London," said Senator Saxby Chambliss. In Kelo, the Court decided yesterday by a 5-4 margin that a local government can seize a person's home and turn it over to another private party for redevelopment.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides for taking of private property by the government, but only with "just compensation" and only for "public use." In a dissenting opinion, Justice O'Connor warned that "all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner" so long as the new owner uses the property within the guidelines outlined by the government.
"This shouldn't happen in America," continued Senator Chambliss. "The Kelo case is a troublesome expansion of the power of local governments to confiscate private property. This case appears to allow seizure of homes owned by lower- and middle-income people to benefit the wealthy and powerful. Congress needs to take a look at what we need to do to restore the protections of the Fifth Amendment to property owners in our county."