Chabot's Property Rights Bill Passes Judiciary Committee
A bipartisan property rights bill authored by Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) passed the House Judiciary Committee today. The Private Property Rights Implementation Act, H.R. 4772, will ensure that a citizen with a legitimate federal claim under the Fifth Amendment's takings clause will have access to federal courts - the same right enjoyed by citizens claiming violations of other constitutional rights.
"We're one step closer to restoring the Constitutional rights of property owners," said Chabot. "Through a series of decisions, the United States Supreme Court has eviscerated the property rights protections that most Americans believed were deeply embedded in our Constitution. The Fifth Amendment clearly states that private property should not be taken by the government without just compensation. Citizens that are prevented by the government from using their land should have the ability to pursue relief under the Constitution."
The Private Property Rights Implementation Act would allow a property owner raising federal claims to have their case decided in federal court. Recent Supreme Court decisions have effectively prevented citizens from raising a Fifth Amendment takings claim in federal court. This is in stark contrast to all other federal constitutional challenges that can be brought directly to federal court.
Chabot, who is the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, introduced the Private Property Rights Implementation Act with Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) and 33 other House members in February. The bill's introduction followed the Supreme Court's decisions in two significant property rights cases - Kelo v. City of New London and San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco.
While the Supreme Court's eminent domain decision in Kelo has received significant attention, San Remo Hotel had a similarly negative impact on property owners. In San Remo, the Supreme Court reasoned that having a takings case heard in state court could preclude property owners from seeking relief in federal court. This puts property owners in an untenable situation because the Supreme Court has previously ruled that property owners must exhaust all state options before pursuing a Fifth Amendment claim in federal court.