U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-KY, today introduced legislation (attached) to protect homes, small businesses, and other private property rights by limiting the power of eminent domain. Saturday marks the seventh anniversary of Kelo vs. the City of New London in which the Supreme Court ruled that local governments could use eminent domain to take private property against the owners' will for use in private development.
"The Kelo decision represented a vast expansion of government power of eminent domain--one that went too far. My legislation would limit that power and restore the basic protections of private property rights that our founders intended," Sen. Cornyn said.
"Property rights are the bulwark of a free society. If we allow our government to confiscate private property at will, then we will eventually lose our other constitutionally protected rights as well. I am proud to stand with Sen. Cornyn to introduce this legislation that will restore property rights to the American people," Sen. Paul said.
In Kelo vs. the City of New London, the United States Supreme Court greatly broadened the definition of public use and thereby greatly limited the property rights protected by the Bill of Rights for more than two centuries. The court held that the government could take property from one person and give it to another person if government decided that by so doing it would promote economic development.