Paul Ryan on Property Rights
In reaction to the Supreme Court's decision in the Kelo case, Congressman Ryan stated that the Supreme Court made a terrible mistake which severely undermines private property rights throughout our country. He also asserted that it was wrong that someone worked years to secure a home or establish a successful family store or restaurant, only to be forced by the government to give it up so a corporation can redevelop the land. He stated that he took an oath to defend the Constitution, and this means protecting citizens’ right to own private property and prevent government from abusing its power. In response to the decision, Congressman Ryan co-sponsored the Private Property Rights Protection Act.
Private Property Rights Protection Act
In November of 2005, Congressman Ryan released a press statement noting his support for the Private Property Rights Protection act. The legislation was in response to the Kelo decision.
Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation
Prohibits a state or political subdivision from using economic development as a reason for exercising its power of eminent domain if federal funds would contribute in any way to: (1) the project for which eminent domain is exercised; or (2) the exercise and enforcement of eminent domain over the project. Renders a state or political subdivision that violations this prohibition ineligible for any such federal funds and directs the federal agency involved to withhold those funds. Prohibits the federal government from using economic development as a reason for exercising eminent domain. Defines "economic development" to mean any activity other than making private property available in substantial part for use by the general public or by an entity that makes the property available for use by the general public, or as a public facility, or to remove harmful effects.
Prohibits any state or political subdivision from exercising its power of eminent domain for economic development if that state or political subdivision receives federal economic development funds during the fiscal year. Makes a state or political subdivision that violates such prohibition ineligible for any such funds for two fiscal years. Provides that such a state or political subdivision is not ineligible for such funds if it returns all real property that was improperly taken and replaces or repairs any property that was destroyed or damaged.