News Releases

Date: 2/29/2012

Title: NCBA Supports House Decision to Protect Private Property Rights

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives Tues., Feb. 28, 2012, sided with private property owners by passing The Private Property Right Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 1443). The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), essentially prevents states from using eminent domain over property to be used for economic development. The bill would also strip federal funds to states that violate the law.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander said private property rights are a constant worry for cattlemen and women, especially as land values continue upward. He said the legislation provides much-needed protection to farmers and ranchers vying to retain land for food production.

“Let me be clear. We aren’t against economic development. We are against the government forcing farmers and ranchers to give up private property that is being used to provide food for a growing global population. Land isn’t being taken for public use, like road construction. Land is being taken under eminent domain and then handed over to private developers to turn food producing farms and ranches into strip malls,” said Alexander. “Development is fine and necessary to sustaining rural communities but we must not forget that we need agriculture to sustain life on this planet.”

After a brief debate on the House floor, members passed the legislation by voice vote. H.R. 1443 overturns a 2005 Supreme Court decision (Kelo v. City of New London) allowing state government to take private property under the doctrine of eminent domain and hand it over to a private developer.

H.R. 1433 is the third official act in response to the 2005 Supreme Court decision taken by the House. In 2005, the House passed both a resolution of disapproval of the decision (H. Res. 340) and a bill (H.R. 4128) similar to H.R. 1433. The legislation will now move to the U.S. Senate.

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