Sen. Brian Crain is planning to introduce legislation limiting the circumstances local governments can use for taking personal property. He said last week’s Supreme Court decision was a serious blow to the rights of individual property owners.
“I support the use of eminent domain for roads, bridges and other kinds of infrastructure projects that clearly benefit the public. But I do not support selling eminent domain powers to the highest bidder. That’s what I’m afraid this Supreme Court ruling could do,” said Crain, R-Tulsa.
Crain said he was very surprised by the ruling but said it was indicative of the kind of judicial activism that has raised concerns throughout the nation by legislators and private citizens alike.
“I believe the Constitution is very clear as to what circumstances justify the use of eminent domain. I plan on introducing legislation that will preserve the power of local governments to use it for projects that truly are for the public good but I think the idea of allowing local government to seize property for the city’s financial benefit opens up the door for cronyism and corruption,” Crain said. “That should simply not be allowed to happen.”
Sen. Crain said more than just home ownership could be at risk because of the court decision.
“I fear that this decision could extend to water rights, mineral rights and any other rights involving real property. We need to protect the property rights of all Oklahomans by limiting the use of eminent domain to its traditional purposes.