Posted by Curt on 23 June, 2006 at 8:38 pm. 2 comments already!

Just another reason why I am so thankful Bush is in office:

President George W. Bush issued an executive order on Friday to limit the U.S. government from taking private property only for the benefit of other private interests, like corporations.

The order came exactly a year after a divided Supreme Court ruled a city could take a person’s home or business for a development project to revitalize a depressed local economy, a practice known as eminent domain.

“The federal government is going to limit its own use of eminent domain so that it won’t be used for purely economic development purposes,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

[…]Bush’s order was aimed at limiting the federal government to taking private property, with compensation, for situations in which it was for “the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties.”

Bush directed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to issue instructions to government agencies for implementing the policy and also to monitor takings by the federal government.

The order does permit the federal government to take property for many public purposes, such as for a public medical facility, roads, a military reservation, acquiring abandoned property or to prevent a harmful use of land.

The text of the order here:

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

PROTECTING THE PROPERTY RIGHTS

OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to strengthen the rights of the American people against the taking of their private property, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.

Sec. 2. Implementation. (a) The Attorney General shall:

(i) issue instructions to the heads of departments and agencies to implement the policy set forth in section 1 of this order; and

(ii) monitor takings by departments and agencies for compliance with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

(b) Heads of departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law:

(i) comply with instructions issued under subsection (a)(i); and

(ii) provide to the Attorney General such information as the Attorney General determines necessary to carry out subsection (a)(ii).

Sec. 3. Specific Exclusions. Nothing in this order shall be construed to prohibit a taking of private property by the Federal Government, that otherwise complies with applicable law, for the purpose of:

(a) public ownership or exclusive use of the property by the public, such as for a public medical facility, roadway, park, forest, governmental office building, or military reservation;

(b) projects designated for public, common carrier, public transportation, or public utility use, including those for which a fee is assessed, that serve the general public and are subject to regulation by a governmental entity;

c) conveying the property to a nongovernmental entity, such as a telecommunications or transportation common carrier, that makes the property available for use by the general public as of right;

(d) preventing or mitigating a harmful use of land that constitutes a threat to public health, safety, or the environment;

(e) acquiring abandoned property;

(f) quieting title to real property;

(g) acquiring ownership or use by a public utility;

(h) facilitating the disposal or exchange of Federal property; or

(i) meeting military, law enforcement, public safety, public transportation, or public health emergencies.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency or the head hereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with Executive Order 12630 of March 15, 1988.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Granted, this applies to Federal takeovers but it’s still welcome news. Many local and state governments have already enacted laws to prevent this senseless ruling to have any effect. Unfortunately the Federal government, namely the Senate, has sat on their hands as Sensenbrenner stated:

Chairman Sensenbrenner stated, “President Bush should be praised for doing what he can to ensure private property rights are protected by signing this Executive Order. The House of Representatives has acted by overwhelmingly passing by a 376-to- 38 margin the bipartisan ‘Private Property Rights Protection Act.’ Unfortunately, in the year since the horrendous Kelo decision, the U.S. Senate has not acted.”

“The Senate’s failure to act leaves every homeowner vulnerable to having the government seize their property and give it to a large corporation for a private business use. It has been 232 days since the House passed this legislation that is vital to protecting the rights of every property owner in America, yet this bill is stuck in the U.S. Senate. That needs to end,” added Chairman Sensenbrenner.

Many on the right are saying this is too little too late. Not a word about the failure of our Senate to act on this legislation the House already passed close to 8 months ago.

It may be late, but I’m thankful he did it.

Other’s Blogging:


Many on the right are saying this is too little too late. Not a word about the failure of our Senate to act on this legislation the House already passed close to 8 months ago.

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