Congress Trying to Blunt Supreme Court’s Kelo Ruling
Lawmakers are trying to blunt a Supreme Court decision that says local governments can seize people’s homes to make way for shopping malls and other private development.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Thursday the high court had made “a horrible decision” and he hoped it would cause a backlash. “The only silver lining to this decision is the possibility that this time the court has finally gone too far and that the American people are ready to reassert their constitutional authority,” said DeLay, R-Texas, a critic of recent court decisions.
While I agree with DeLay on the outrageous nature of these local government actions that the Court legitimated, it is outside Congress’ purview to regulate the use of eminent domain at the local level.
But Congress often finds a way to do things outside its constitutional scope. How? Money.
Legislation in the works would ban the use of federal funds for any project getting the go-ahead using the Kelo v. City of New London decision. “They’re going to have to find their own money, instead of coming to Washington,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
I’m not sure what percentage of takings cases would be impacted here, although one would think it small indeed.