House Subcommittee Approves Bill to Limit Power of Eminent Domain

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The House of Representatives has once again resurrected the "Private Property Rights Protection Act" (HR 1944), a bill that would limit the power of eminent domain on a nationwide scale.  I say once again, because as we reported in 2012 (see January 26, 2012 post by Brad Kuhn), the House Judiciary Committee approved a nearly identical bill by an overwhelming 23-5 vote, only to have the bill languish on the House floor.  The vote this time around, however, was nowhere near as emphatic, as the bill barely passed out of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice with a skimpy 5-3 vote.  In a press release issued shortly after the vote, both House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R. Wisc.) praised the result, stating that private property rights need to be protected from improper government seizure, citing the case of Kelo v. City of New London as the prime example of government overreach.  The bill will now move to the House Judiciary Committee for review.