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 PRESS RELEASE, 10/27/05

Pombo, Resources Committee Members Vow to Protect Private Property

Washington, DC - House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) held a hearing today on H.R. 3405, Strengthening the Ownership of Private Property Act of 2005. Chairman Pombo is an original cosponsor of the bill, which would limit the impact of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London.

"Congress has to stop local governments from taking property from individuals like Mr. Arroyo who had to give up a family business of 30 years so that a gas station and McDonalds could be placed on his land. This is unconscionable and goes against everything the Constitution stands for," said Pombo.

On June 23, 2005 the Supreme Court handed down a controversial decision on Kelo v. City of New London. In Kelo, the Court approved condemnation of private property for the purpose of implementing a local government's redevelopment plan. On a 5 to 4 decision, the Court ruled property could be turned over to private developers - a private-to-private transfer.

"The Court set a precedent that will haunt the American people for decades to come," Pombo continued. "Invoking eminent domain should be an extremely rare occurrence in this country and for a very clearly defined public use."

Congress is fast-tracking legislation that would cut off federal economic development funding for state and local governments that consider actions under Kelo.

"Legislation to address the implications of Kelo is critically important and time sensitive," said Pombo. "Congress must be careful not to differentiate between certain uses, locations and thus the level of protection given to the property owners. The Constitution does not differentiate and Congress must not differentiate."

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