PHOENIX-On Tuesday, February 22, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Kelo v. City of New London, marking the first time in 50 years the court has considered the meaning of the Public Use Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Goldwater Institute filed an amicus brief in the landmark case, which is likely to affect private property rights nationwide. The brief, written by the Goldwater Institute and signed by eight organizations from across the country, contends that the use of eminent domain for redevelopment purposes violates private property protections in the Fifth Amendment, which states that "no person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."
The Fifth Amendment prohibits the invocation of eminent domain for purposes other than public use. Legitimate public uses include police stations, roadways, and schools. However, municipalities across the country are using eminent domain to transfer private property from owners to others, often commercial developers for projects such as tax-revenue generating luxury condos and stores.
The Goldwater Institute maintains that condemnation of private property for such uses violates constitutional prohibitions, and is unnecessary for economic development. The Goldwater Institute study, Condemning Condemnation: Alternatives to Eminent Domain, provides a case study for developers who seek to comply with the law.
Mark Brnovich, director of the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Government, argues that "the right to hold private property is as fundamental to freedom as our constitutional rights of speech and religion."
Mark Brnovich will be speaking at one of over two dozen rallies across the country urging the Supreme Court to uphold private property rights, Monday, February 21, at 2:00 p.m. at Pottery Paradise, 4338 N. Scottsdale Road. For event details, contact: Patti Badenoch, (480) 949-9549 or Jennifer Barnett, Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter, (602) 324-5440.
Andrea Woodmansee, Director of Communications, Goldwater Institute, (602) 712-1257, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Brnovich, Director, Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Government, (602) 462-5000, email@example.com