WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 7, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — On Thursday, July 9, 2015, at 2:00 p.m., the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing on the state of property rights in the United States on the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Kelo v. City of New London.

Ten years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its now infamous decision in Kelo v. City of New London which it determined that a government’s decision to take property for the purpose of private economic development satisfies the “public use” requirement of the Fifth Amendment.  Thursday’s hearing will explore current issues related to property rights and the Fifth Amendment limits on the government’s authority to take private property. Additionally, the hearing will examine current problems with economic development takings, issues related to access to federal courts in takings cases, and regulatory takings.

In each of the last two Congresses, the House passed legislation on a broad bipartisan basis to reverse the effects of the Kelo decision by denying federal economic development funds to states and localities that take land for private economic development purposes.

The witnesses for Thursday’s hearing will be:

  • Dan Alban, Attorney, Institute for Justice
  • John Groen, Principal Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • John Echeverria, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
  • Brian Seasholes, Director, Endangered Species Project, Reason Foundation

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) issued the following statements on the upcoming hearing:

Chairman Goodlatte:  “Private ownership of property is vital to our freedom and our prosperity and is one of the most fundamental principles embedded in the Constitution.  The Supreme Court set an unprecedented standard with its application of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause in the case of Kelo v. City of New London.  Ten years have passed, and it’s time to reexamine the merits of the Court’s decision, and what solutions are available to reverse the negative impact the Kelo ruling has placed on the American people.  I applaud Chairman Franks for leading this discussion on how to restore the property rights that were erased by that ruling through congressional action.”

Subcommittee Chairman Franks:  “It has been ten years since the disastrous Supreme Court ruling inKelo v. City of New London.  This hearing will examine the continuing need for solutions to blunt the negative impact of the Supreme Court’s decision, which permits the use of eminent domain to take property from homeowners and small businesses and transfer it to others for private economic development. We must restore the private property rights protections that were erased from the Constitution by the Kelo decision.  John Adams wrote over 200 years ago that, ‘property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.’ As long as the specter of condemnation hangs over all property, our liberty is threatened.”

The hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at

CONTACT:: Kathryn Rexrode or Michael Woeste (202) 225-3951

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