Ok, this is a big win with a big caveat: it sunsets in two frickin years. Can anyone else say “presidential campaign issue?” Kip Esquire correctly points out in the comments that the bill doesn’t expire in two years. Instead all federal funding is cut for two years. Honest mistake, and we’re much happier now (though I’d still like to see it codified as an amendment that can’t be overturned by the SCOTUS again).
Today, backed by president Bush, text of bill), which in effect strips all federal funding from states that allow seizing of homes for economic development. After an overwhelming 376-38 vote, it’s uncertain just why they
decided to sunset the change in just two years and (see above) didn’t push for an amendment to permanently protect property rights from eminent domain abuses.
The Castle Coalition, one of the most prominent groups fighting eminent domain, hailed the legislation as a win,“The legislation strikes the perfect balance. It serves to reassure every American that federal dollars — their own money — won’t be used to kick them off their land, while allowing state and local governments to use federal dollars for actual public uses, like roads and military bases.”
In related news, this will certainly kill any possibility of Louisana lawmakers making use of eminent domain to seize homes in areas of New Orleans devastated by breeched levee flooding. The NOLA seizure plan would have given developers large swathes of land where homes are condemned due to flood damage.