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Property Rights Advocates React to Eminent Domain Ruling

Texas Puts Issue on Call for Special Session
 
This ruling sets up a horrible situation which was not what our founding fathers intended, says Dan Byfield, President of American Land Foundation, (ALF), a national non-profit property rights advocate group. Byfield was just one of many property rights advocates to address members of the Texas House Committee on Land and Resource Management on Wednesday, July 5th, just 13 days after the Supreme Courts controversial ruling in the Kelo v. the City of New London case, which cleared the way for the city to condemn a neighborhood so a private developer could build a multimillion dollar commercial complex.

This ruling sets up a horrible situation which was not what our founding fathers intended, says Dan Byfield, President of American Land Foundation, (ALF), a national non-profit property rights advocate group. Byfield was just one of many property rights advocates to address members of the Texas House Committee on Land and Resource Management on Wednesday, July 5th, just 13 days after the Supreme Courts controversial ruling in the Kelo v. the City of New London case, which cleared the way for the city to condemn a neighborhood so a private developer could build a multimillion dollar commercial complex.

Advocates were at the Capitol to show their support for HJR 19, a bill filed by Rep. Frank Corte that would limit the governments power of eminent domain.

Among the many lawmakers supporting the bill is Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst who said, People should own property without living in fear that the government can take it and turn it over to private developers in the name of higher property values.

Supporters of the bill were rewarded on Friday, when Governor Rick Perry extended the agenda of the special legislative session to include the eminent domain issue. HJR 19 was passed from Committee and is scheduled to be brought to the floor for vote on July 12th. The Senate passed a separate bill, SB 62, by Rep.

Kyle Janek which is also expected to be brought to the house floor this week.

The aftershocks from the startling 5-4 decision continue to ripple across the nation as landowners everywhere consider the effects of this reversal of constitutional rights.

So many people dont even know what their property rights are, says Mike Dail, Texas rancher and real estate broker. They just go along thinking their land is protected by some constitutional amendment, most dont even know which one, and all the while their rights are being demolished.

Over the last decade, Dail, who serves as Chairman of the Board for the American Land Foundation, and Byfield, have spent countless hours educating landowners about their property rights and how to protect them. Just like you have to be hungry to eat, says Dail, Americans have to be willing to be educated to listen. The New London ruling will, no doubt, amplify that hunger as landowners begin to realize its implications.

The recent surge in high profile property rights cases nationwide is a good indicator that Americans are getting fed up and deciding to fight back. Says Dail, The perception has always been that if the government says its so, the landowner has to cede to them. But thanks to people like Nevada rancher, Wayne Hage, (Hage v. U.S.), who fought back when government agencies took his private property using environmental regulations, Americans are learning to stand up and fight for what is rightfully theirs. Says Hage, Just because they say they have the right doesnt mean they do. I tell them to show me the law that gives them that right.

 
 
 




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Steven J. Williams, P.C.
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