(June 24, 2006) -- On the 1st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling (Kelo v. City of New London) that it's constitutional for a city to take a person's home or business by eminent domain and give it to private developer if city officials decide the development will revitalize a depressed local economy, President George W. Bush issued an Executive Order limiting the U.S. government from taking private property solely for the benefit of private interests.
LBReport.com posts the full text of the June 23 Executive Order below.
Meanwhile, in Sacramento, Assemblywoman Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel), urged Californians to support the Protect Our Homes initiative to reform eminent domain abuse.
"The Supreme Court’s decision was a monumental blow to the protections we enjoy as homeowners. If a property can be taken from one person only to be given to another more powerful person, every homeowner is vulnerable," said Assemblywoman Mimi Walters in a written release from the Protect Our Homes coalition. The ballot initiative (a proposed CA constitutional amendment) would prohibit local governments from abusing eminent domain to take a private landowner’s property only to sell it to another private entity. Supporters have submitted almost 1 million petition signatures to place it on the November ballot. (The group's website is www.ProtectOurHomes2006.com)
As previously reported by LBReport.com, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (with LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill in its leadership) as well as the National League of Cities and League of CA Cities (private groups in which LB City Hall pays dues and has memberships) submitted Friend of the Court briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against property owners in Kelo...which the Court did.
The Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities/League of CA Cities praised the Court's controversial ruling...and have worked to deter Congress and state legislatures (including CA) from enacting strong remedial measures protecting property owners from Redevelopment abuse and eminent domain misuse.
On June 5, 2006 (as previously reported by LBReport.com), the U.S. Conference Mayors (with Mayor O'Neill as its president) passed a policy resolution entitled "Revitalizing Cities Through Eminent Domain." To read it, click here.
Additional coverage: Reuters: Bush Moves To Limit US Gov't Taking Private Land
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 thereof; 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.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 23, 2006.
# # #