Supreme Court dishes property owners a Fifth Amendment victory

By – Re-Blogged From CFact

In a decision that sent chills down the spines of environmental groups and raised the spirits of property rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court June 21 removed a significant legal barrier that, for decades, had effectively barred aggrieved landowners from challenging local ordinances in federal court.

The court’s 5-4 ruling restores property rights to the full constitutional status the Framers envisioned when they included the Fifth Amendment’s Taking Clause in the Bill of Rights, opening federal courts to property owners seeking “just compensation” for the taking of their property by government.

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Georgia Rep. Advances Asset Forfeiture Reform

By Logan Albright – Re-Blogged From FreedomWorks

Georgia has become the latest in a long line of states looking to reform its civil asset forfeiture program. A growing number of people are apparently waking up to the common sense idea that the government shouldn’t seize private property from people when they haven’t been convicted of – or even charged with – a crime.

State Representative Scot Turner has introduced an extremely simple piece of legislation that would, with a single line change, effectively end the practice of civil forfeiture in his state. Turner’s bill makes mandatory the formerly optional ability of courts to suspend forfeiture during an ongoing trial. In other words, the government wouldn’t be allowed to take your stuff without convicting you.

Recently a large number of states have embraced the idea of forfeiture reform, and while only a couple have successfully passed legislation, it’s notable that Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, and others are all talking about the policy’s flaws and the need for change.

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What Killed Economic Growth?

By Jeffrey Tucker – Re-Blogged From FEE: The Foundation for Economic Education

Debating why the economy is so sluggish is an American pastime. It fills the op-eds, burns up the blogosphere, consumes the TV pundits, and dominates the political debates.

It’s a hugely important question because many people are seriously frustrated about the problem. The recent popularity of political cranks and crazies from the left and right — backed by crowds embracing nativist and redistributionist nostrums — testify to that.

Sometimes it’s good to look at the big picture. The Economic Freedom of the World report does this with incredible expertise. If you believe in gathering data, and looking just at what the evidence shows and drawing conclusions, you will appreciate this report. It sticks to just what we know and what we can measure. The editors of the report have been doing this since 1996, so the persistence of the appearance of cause and effect is undeniable.

The report seeks measures of five key indicators of economic freedom: security of property rights, soundness of money, size of government, freedom to trade globally, and the extent of regulation. All their measures are transparent and heavily scrutinized by experts on an ongoing basis. If you question how a certain measure was arrived at, you are free to do so. It’s all there, even the fantastically detailed data sets, free for the download.

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What You Need to Know About the EPA/Corps Water Rule: It’s a Power Grab and an Attack on Property Rights

By Daren Bakst – Re-Blogged From http://www.Heritage.org

Abstract

In April 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule—“Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act”—that defines what waters are covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This rule, often referred to as the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, could cover almost any type of water, giving the two agencies far greater power than authorized under the CWA. The proposed rule is complicated and vague, with little clarity coming from the agencies. There are four key points that should be known about the proposed rule: (1) it is extremely broad; (2) it is an attack on property rights; (3) it exceeds the broadest interpretation of Supreme Court precedent on CWA jurisdiction; and (4) it was developed through a flawed process. Unless Congress acts, this proposed power grab could soon become a reality—the two agencies recently sent their final rule to the Office of Management and Budget for its approval. Congress should require that the agencies withdraw the rule, and then Congress must define what is meant by “waters of the United States.”

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