Eminent Domain/Property Rights Ruling Violates Constitutional and Biblical Principles

By Aaron Rice
February 1, 2007

Eminent domain is the process by which government can take property from private citizens and use it for a public use, such as roads.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling known as the Kelo decision, said it was OK for a city to use eminent domain to take property of law-abiding citizens, including a couple in their 80s, and give it to private companies that wanted to bulldoze those homes and small businesses in order to build a hotel and office complex.

Our founders wrote into the Constitution words that should have prevented this type of ruling. The ruling also went against the biblical principle that government is to protect the rights of the poor and not show favoritism to the wealthy.

In essence, this ruling treats all property as if it belongs to the government, which can allow you to use your land until someone comes along who might bring more tax money to that government.

The Court did, however, invite states to tighten their eminent domain laws to prevent the problem the court created. Our legislature is debating that issue this year, and they should remember that private property is just that - private - and should not be taken by government in order to give it to the highest bidder.


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