Brian Crain to introduce eminent domain limits on local governments

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This makes me want to stand up and cheer:

Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division State Capitol Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2005

Senator Brian Crain

Sen. Crain Says Legislation Needed to Prevent Abuse of Eminent Domain

Sen. Brian Crain is planning to introduce legislation limiting the circumstances local governments can use for taking personal property. He said last weeks Supreme Court decision was a serious blow to the rights of individual property owners.

I support the use of eminent domain for roads, bridges and other kinds of infrastructure projects that clearly benefit the public. But I do not support selling eminent domain powers to the highest bidder. Thats what Im afraid this Supreme Court ruling could do, said Crain, R-Tulsa.

Crain said he was very surprised by the ruling but said it was indicative of the kind of judicial activism that has raised concerns throughout the nation by legislators and private citizens alike.

I believe the Constitution is very clear as to what circumstances justify the use of eminent domain. I plan on introducing legislation that will preserve the power of local governments to use it for projects that truly are for the public good but I think the idea of allowing local government to seize property for the citys financial benefit opens up the door for cronyism and corruption, Crain said. That should simply not be allowed to happen.

Sen. Crain said more than just home ownership could be at risk because of the court decision.

I fear that this decision could extend to water rights, mineral rights and any other rights involving real property. We need to protect the property rights of all Oklahomans by limiting the use of eminent domain to its traditional purposes.

For more information contact:
Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774

Brian Crain is a freshman Republican state senator from Tulsa, an attorney with a background in real estate law. It's encouraging to see that our new Republican legislators are focused on putting their principles into practice. That was evident in this past legislative session, with the passage of landmark pro-life legislation, a road bill that reallocated existing resources to make road rehabilitation a priority without raising taxes, and the achievement of workers compensation reform.

As I noted yesterday, some see a political opportunity for Democrats in the aftermath of Kelo v. New London, but if Republicans stick to their principles, we'll see the GOP leading the charge for limits on the use of eminent domain. There are certainly those Republicans in name only who are comfortable with abusing government power to reward their cronies, but it's my observation that Brian Crain is far more typical of the Republican caucus in the Oklahoma legislature.

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1 Comments

Roy said:

This past Sunday after church I talked to several folks about the Kelo decision. One, Tony Miller, a lawyer, observed that the very action that Crain has concern about does happen in Okla. He had been contacted by a chicken shop to oppose its location being taken for some development plan. Not highway or similar, but development. Irony was that the proposed development included a chicken shop. Tony told me the Okla Constitution allows that. He went to the development authority, asked what was going on, and they said such and such articles, laws, or whatever, and he verified they had it right. The original chicken shop owners were told they could bid on the new site, but they declined ;(. Surprised me, what with Okla's populist constitution. Upshot imho is that Crain is gonna have to get an amendment passed before he can make the laws he's talking about.

ps. Tony said the person to talk to would be Randy Pickard, whose speciality is property law.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 28, 2005 7:59 AM.

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