The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved by voice vote last week a bill that would prohibit state and local governments who receive federal funds from using eminent domain to transfer private land to private ownership for economic development.

Dubbed the Private Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1944), this legislation comes in direct response to the 2005 Supreme Court infamous case Kelo v City of New London, which provided local and state governments broad authority to acquire private property and transfer to private ownership under the guise of economic development. The Private Property Rights Protection Act passed the House in the 109th and 112th Congresses.

SEVER STOREY NOTE: This is a step in the right direction for landowners and landowner-advocates. For far too long, local municipalities and state governments have overstepped their boundaries in the name of “economic redevelopment” or some other disingenuous jargon. If this piece of legislation can find its way into our legal fabric, business and landowners will have achieved a great victory.