Property rights bill fails in US House

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives on Tuesday failed to pass the Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2005 [HR 4772 text, PDF], a bill that its supporters said would provide easier access to federal courts to landowners seeking to challenge governmental actions under the Takings Clause [text] of the Fifth Amendment. The bill summary specifies that it would:

Amend[] the federal judicial code to provide that, whenever a district court exercises jurisdiction in civil rights cases in which the operative facts concern the uses of real property, it shall not abstain from exercising such jurisdiction, or relinquish it to a state court, if the party seeking redress does not allege a violation of a state law, right, or privilege, and no parallel proceeding is pending in state court that arises out of the same operative facts as the district court proceeding.
Opponents argued that the bill would entangle local and state governments in expensive federal court litigation. The measure was defeated 234-172 [roll call].

Last June, the Supreme Court held [JURIST report] in Kelo v. New London [opinion, text] that a local government authority can expropriate private property - land, homes and businesses - for private redevelopment that confers economic benefits on the community such as more jobs and tax revenue so long as it is not just a private use of the property for private benefit. The controversial ruling gave prompted a rash of local, state and even federal laws [JURIST report] purporting to increase private property protections. AP has more.


 

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