Tennessee’s Counterfeit Eminent Domain Bill

The Tennessee Senate just unanamously passed an eminent domain bill. The measure is almost as effective in protecting the rights of property owners as a masturbating sterile man is effective in producing children. Here’s the AP take on the bill:

One main provision of Tennessee’s legislation would require local governments to certify the “public purpose and necessity” of seizing land.

The bill also permits land acquired by eminent domain to “be sold, leased, or otherwise transferred to another public or quasi-public entity, or to a private person, corporation, or other entity, so long as the transferring entity receives at least fair market value for the land.”

Amendments that were killed Monday include a measure that would exempt from eminent domain structures considered “cultural, historic, religious, educational or of economic significance to disadvantaged citizens.”

Another killed amendment would have required a public hearing before a person’s property could be condemned.

Perhaps it’s time for some civil disobedience in Tennessee; it’s worked before.

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • http://www.freeme.org Keith

    I was in Nashville when we were protesting the possible expansion of the state income tax and/or increase in other taxes. We did not win the battle, like you suggest. We did manage to defeat the expansion of the income tax and that is a great thing. However, many taxes were expanded and we may have actually lost the fight because the TN state government passed the biggest tax increase in TN history. So, while we did not win or lose, I think it would be more accurate to call it our biggest loss ever than to call it a win.

    Oh, and I am not surprised that the TN state legislature was unable to pass eminent domain reform. Most of the larger cities have been using eminent domain for years and some (like Memphis) rely very heavily on it.

  • Stephen Gordon

    Keith — perhaps I should have reworded it. Massive demonstrations with LOTS of noise made a big political impact, and I’m suggesting that perhaps y’all should try that again.

  • Devious David

    Yeah, sounds like that impact was really effective, huh Stephen? When all legal options are exhausted what do you do? I keep asking this question but never receive an answer from anyone.

    Personally, I think it’s time to either prepare to flee the country or get on with the Free State Project. The perceived costs are far outweighed by the clear and obvious, indisputable costs that we can count on. What good is it to live our present lifestyles when we know where they are headed, with particular respect to our liberty and not make some present sacrifice (financial or otherwise) in exchange for added future liberty? United we stand…

  • Stephen Gordon

    I’d argue that the Tennessee Tax Revolt was immediately effect (it stopped it’s first intended tax increase) despite the TN legislative work-around on it. It also created an organization of people, ranging from activists to talk radio hosts to websites who can now coordinate to fight other related issues.

    Also, we called leaders of the TN Tax Revolt down to our first organizational meeting in Alabama (called by the LP, I’ll add) so we could learn from them how to stop out tax bill. Using a lot we learned from them, we stopped our bill by a 2-1 margin.

    I’d still qualify the TN Tax Revolt as successful — even where other taxes were raised, they slowed the rate of that growth by having organized resistance to it.

  • Devious David

    Point well taken. This should be a lesson then that opportunities such as this to organize the dissent should be taken advantage of. We could find more LPers et al. in situations like this.

    It’s funny to me that whenever things like this don’t get enacted at once, it happens piecemeal, ala the European Union Constitution. People voted it down, but it’s taking place whether they like it or not.

    This shows us that it’s important for TN Tax Revolt to stay active and oppose all taxes all the time. Logical consistency is critical to achieving our ends. This one reason is why conservatives never get the “limited government” they claim to want. Other than the fact that they don’t want that anyway that is.

  • Graham

    What is the point of the Bill? I don’t see ANY protections for private property rights in there. How is this any different than what happens anyway.